An electronic health record (EHR) system is only as useful as the healthcare team operating the software. Training healthcare practitioners is an essential step in effective EHR implementation.
Prioritizing EHR user training is critical to improving the quality of patient care. As well as the financial sustainability of the healthcare facility. Unfortunately, an EHR training schedule is often an afterthought.
The Role of EHR
Certified EHR software provides tools needed for a customizable workflow. Including the patient portal, telemedicine, medical billing services, and revenue cycle management.
In the right hands, the real-time collection of data and resources can help medical practitioners collaborate effectively. It also helps with the patient’s understanding of the system.
The use of EHR is on the rise. As of 2017, approximately 86% of office-based physicians had adopted a form of EHR. Almost 80% had adopted a certified EHR. These statistics show that the adoption of EHR has more than doubled since 2008.
Similar statistics appear in other medical fields, for example:
- More than 95% of hospitals eligible for Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program achievement meaningful use of certified health IT (2016)
- Three in five non-federal acute care hospitals notify a patient’s primary care provider of entry to the hospital’s emergency department electronically (more than 50% increase from 2012)
- Approximately 64% of physicians had an EHR with the ability to communicate secure messages with patients. Including sharing medical records, downloading medical records, and transmitting medical records to a third party (2015)
An effective EHR system benefits both the physician and the patient experience.
Why is EHR Training Important?
Training staff and clinicians to use an EHR system is a critical step in EHR implementation. It is vital to realize the full potential of the EHR. Proper training depends on more than technical capability.
There are several benefits of using EHR solutions with confidence. Research suggests that using advanced features improves clinical practice. Training also impacts the willingness to use EHRs and satisfaction with healthcare information technology.
Effective EHR implementation will include a comprehensive EHR training program to ensure fulfillment of best practices. It will also reap the full benefits of the system and improve efficiency.
The Benefits of Quality EHR Training
Creating an EHR training schedule will streamline training costs. While training for nurses and physicians essentially never ends, successful implementation will make the continuous learning process easy.
The benefits of EHR user training are many, including:
- Improved coding and charting accuracy
- Better productivity and efficiency for providers
- Improved productivity and efficiency for patients
- Return on investment in the long run
- Greater collaboration between healthcare providers enabled through integrated data.
- Optimized processes and policies
- Automate manual processes
- Use data effectively
- Improves patient education by giving them a better understanding of their conditions (and the clinician’s recommendations)
Best Practices for Training Staff on Using a New EHR
There are certain considerations for training staff on using a new EHR. These considerations will help to overcome potential challenges and difficulties along the way.
One of the most important details to consider is the skills level of the medical team. Basic computer literacy is essential for an effective EMR. Make sure to fill any gaps with knowledge.
It’s useful to identify one or two tech-savvy individuals in each department. Leverage their knowledge to help train the rest of the team. These individuals would have high computer literacy. They also can grasp new concepts, willingness to teach, and show excitement about the new EHR.
The practice may use several EHRs at any given time. Begin by training staff only on the tools that they will be using. Not everyone needs to learn to use all features and functions. Attempting to teach all functions to all staff can increase frustration. Make an effort to encourage feedback. Implementation is only the start of training. Feedback is essential to further streamline the workflow and iron out any problems. Take advantage of the training resources provided by your vendor. At PrognoCIS, we offer expert technical support and extra resources.
Creating an EHR Training Plan / Training Strategy
There are some training plan templates to consider, depending on which type of training strategy you choose. Try to consider feedback to get the most benefit out of the tools.
- Super use training takes advantage of training a few key staff members. These individuals can quickly learn the EHR and share their knowledge with the rest of the team.
- Role-based training is an effective training strategy that identifies the roles and responsibilities of staff. It then designs training sessions to best suit their needs.
- Process-based training focuses on helping staff better understand the new workflows.
Challenges During EHR Training
There’s a misconception that it’s complicated to transition from a paper-based environment to an electronic system. A certified EHR trainer will help medical teams to navigate the software as well as streamline the workflow. The initial training sessions can take as little as a couple of weeks, the complete migration to paperless taking up to several months. Learning the EHR system will depend on the willingness and commitment of the medical team.
EHR training is an ongoing process as technology, and various features continuously develop. Training for nurses and physicians is a consistent effort, which means that an EHR training schedule needs to be set up. It’s possible to base this training on goals, both short-term and long-term.
Take Your EHR Implementation to the Next Level with PrognoCIS
At PrognoCIS, we offer a reliable support team that can provide ongoing training and educational resources. We understand the value of EHR training and how critical it is to get the full potential of an EHR system, whether it be telemedicine, medical billing, or patient portals. Our free EMR training online is part of the package when investing in our EHR solutions. Reducing the training cost while increasing efficiency and productivity in the workplace.