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Electronic Health Records Training

Successful electronic health record (EHR) implementation must employ a comprehensive EHR training program to ensure fulfillment of best practices and Meaningful Use requirements.

With the right leaders overseeing the EHR training processes, a practice can be sure of a smooth transition to an advanced certified EHR system. Once they make sure their staff possesses basic computer skills, these leaders are ready to carry out EHR training.

EHR Training Super-Users

EMR training begins with identifying a practice’s super-users. Super-users will be the first people fully trained on EHR functions to understand how the new EHR affects work and data flow. While super-users should include clinicians, practices should make sure these leaders represent all departments.

Super-users will be key to EHR training success. They will identify how an EHR best fits a practice’s processes in order to execute the best results for both patients and providers. Super-users will also continuously mentor staff, providing easily accessible support and ongoing EHR training. Each clinical site will require at least one super-user.

EHR Training Process and Programs

The size of a practice should determine the method of EHR training. For a small to medium-sized practice, it may be possible for the whole office to complete an entire EHR training program. For larger practices, only the super-users may go through the EHR training. The cost and work hours lost might be too high for the entire staff to attend.

An EHR vendor should equip providers with a thorough EHR training manual and curriculum. However, super-users should consider writing a streamlined cheat sheet specific to their practice’s workflow. It should allow their colleagues to quickly find, understand and accomplish routine tasks without needing to look for instructions in a dense manual.

There should be numerous EHR training plans and programs available to fit a practice’s needs. EHR vendors may invite providers to training at their site. Conversely, the vendors may send trainers to a practice for a to instruct employees on site.

Depending on its size, culture and workload, a practice may also decide to hire employees whose sole responsibility is to execute ongoing EHR training tailored to its specific needs.

Real time visual demonstrations should be a key component of EHR training. Video of these presentations should be saved online for future reference. Vendors may also provide free online resources to complement EHR training.

EHR Training Commitment

A practice must at least make sure their super-users to complete the full EHR training program. If possible, an entire practice should schedule uninterrupted time to learn the basic functions of a new EHR system. While some productivity may be lost in the short run, ensuring as many staff members as possible are fully trained will pay off in long-term efficiencies.

It may make sense to divide the training into smaller blocks across a certain number of days or weeks. Piecemeal training may be more useful so employees have time to master various components of a new EHR system one at a time. From patient intake and charting, ordering laboratory tests, imaging, electronic prescribing, sending referrals, billing, and more, EHR training can be overwhelming to learn all at once.

Ongoing EHR Training and Assessment

After initial training, practices should develop ongoing EHR training processes. Super-users or any in-house trainers should continuously assess staff performance and develop mandatory training to mitigate any problems that arise.

EHR training leaders should also seriously consider attending any EHR vendor conferences or classes to bulk up their skill set and keep abreast of technological updates.

According to the Black Book Rankings 2014 report, our EHR training provides significant and meaningful opportunities for users while being effective, practical and updated in a timely manner.

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