Every component of a successful electronic medical records system implementation requires a thoughtful, strategic approach. Naturally, this includes EMR training, and one of the best places to start is to establish roles and expectations for all parties involved to ensure smooth implementation and effective training. It’s important to remember that internal management is just as important as vendor support, and below are just some of the important in-house roles to assign before beginning training.
The Executive Sponsor: Visualizing the Big Picture
For any project, either through a small business, large corporation, healthcare organization, or anything in between, the executive sponsor must be an individual who understands the organization’s needs and goals thoroughly. Often involved with management, the executive sponsor must have a big picture perspective, and for ” For this role, knowledge of how the EHR system will interface with the organization is more important than technical know-how.
The Project Coordinator: Pursuing EMR Training Outcomes
Unlike the executive sponsor, the project coordinator manages day-to-day issues with groups and individuals. The project coordinator should be a leader who understands the technical side of implementation sufficiently to serve as a knowledge source for the rest of the organization. Ownership of EHR training and its outcomes is critical for this role, and the assigned individual must be able to take accountability for this crucial stage of implementation.
Roles of Providers and Other Billable Staff
EMR Training Success
EMR training roles do not end at the management level. For providers, billing staff, nursing, technicians, QA specialists, and others, key training roles exist that can complement an EMR training program – only if managed properly. Physician super users as trainers or guides during an EMR training program, for example, have demonstrated mixed results. One significant benefit of assigning physician super users is having an in-house expert who understands not only technicalities in the EHR system and how they relate to the individual clinic or practice, but who are available as a resource for providers and staff. Clinician super users should not, however, become a primary resource for information, as this can quickly lead to frustration and significant training gaps.
Always Consider Your Training Strategy
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reviews three training strategies commonly employed by healthcare organizations during EMR implementation: super user training, role-based training, and process-based training.
Naturally, the selected training strategy will affect the structure and roles of your training team and roadmap. In all of these strategies, however, a common underlying theme is assigning training roles to individuals who can serve as an information resource for others who perform similar tasks.
Leverage Expert EMR Training from Your Vendor
In many cases, the EHR vendor itself provides expert trainers. Leveraging an EHR vendor is important throughout the implementation process, and this certainly applies to the training period. From classroom-style sessions to one-on-one instruction, different EHR vendors may provide various types of training to help you and your staff achieve fluency in your records system.
At ZH Healthcare, we understand training to use EMR isn’t complete until a healthcare organization feels confident in its utility. Our HITaaS (Health IT as a Service) system BlueEHS includes training to fit your unique needs and customization choices.