Converting to a new Electronic Health Records (EHR) software is soon to happen in most practices these days. However, this is a significant change and it can be stressful getting your entire practice on board. You may not even know how to start, but our guest author from Software Advice is here to give some tips on training your staff. Read on to see what they have to say!
Making the transition from paper records to an EHR system can be a daunting task. But by effectively training your staff, the switch will run more smoothly.
Training is essential in successfully implementing a new EHR system. Training your whole practice avoids setbacks, errors, and employee turnover in addition to facilitating a smooth transition to a new system.
Software Advice has provided five tips for effectively training your staff to successfully implement new EHR Systems.
1. Offer EHR System Training
If your practice is switching from paper to electronic, computer training may be necessary if some of your staff isn't used to using a computer on a regular basis.
First, identify what basic computer skill levels your staff has and train anyone who isn't up to par. There are many online resources: free tests, paid tests, or you can even create your own.
If training is needed, get started immediately. There are many options that include paying for classes at a local community college or if many of your employees need training, you can pay an instructor to visit your office for training sessions. There are also free online resources such as Goodwill Community Foundation that you can use.
If some employees are not up to speed with computer technology, training will provide them with the skills they need to become more comfortable.
2. Carefully Select Tech-Savvy Employees to Take on the Resposibility
By selecting one or two people to learn the system inside and out, you provide a person that other employees can come to for answers. When selecting a super user they should:
- Be highly computer literate
- Be excited to learn new concepts
- Be willing to help teach others
- Have been with your practice at least one year.
If you're not sure right off the bat who these super users should be, you can conduct a search within your practice. By offering an incentive, such as extra vacation or a small bonus. Your employees should be motivated to take on this extra responsibility.
3. Train Staff on Necessary Features
It's a waste of time to train employees on every feature of the system. The only people who should know every in and out of the EHR system are the super users. By tailoring training for the other employees, you will avoid some unnecessary frustration.
For example, a billing employee will need to learn how to find insurance information and billing codes, but not how to enter a diagnosis. You are wasting everyone's time by training people on features they will never use. By only training them on the features they'll be using, confusion will be minimized.
4. Ask For Feedback After the EHR System Goes Live
With any new system, you're bound to run into some problems. There will be functions you dont understand and processes that may be needed to redesign.
The most efficient way to discover and resolve these issues is to ask for feedback after implementation. Be sure to include every department in your office, so that all user groups are represented.
When receiving notice about issues, evaluate and prioritize them so that the most urgent issues are resolved first. For example, training nursing staff to enter vitals correctly is a higher priority than redesigning an inefficient workflow.
Help your staff adapt more easily and ensure patient care doesnt suffer by taking the changes at your practice one at a time.
5. Take Advantage of Your Vendors Online Resources
There will be questions that arise that even your super users can't answer. In this case, you should take advantage of the online resources that most EHR vendors provide.
Most vendors websites will be equipped with learning and training resources. These resources include manuals and video tutorials, which you have access to without hiring someone to provide extra training.
An additional resource most websites provide is a community forum. These forums give you the ability to connect with others and exchange information with them about the new systems you're using.
Implementing a new EHR system is not an easy feat, but following these 5 tips will help your practice have an easier conversion by avoiding costly mistakes. Your top priority should be quality patient care and employing a strategic training approach that will help you use your new system effectively.
Amanda Guerrero originally contributed this piece to Software Advice. Amanda is a writer and blogger specializing in EHR, patient portal technology, and meaningful use. From her years working as a file clerk at a doctors office to her time as an implementation manager at an EHR company, Amanda has witnessed the evolution of the healthcare industrys charting system firsthand. View the original post here: Five Best Practices for Training Staff on Using a New EHR
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