5 Important Areas of EHR Training during Implementation

Having gone through the requirements gathering, budgeting and selection process the time has come to focus on implementation. A crucial element of which is the EHR training for all users of the system.

1) EHR Training Timeline

Thorough and comprehensive training will help your practice avoid setbacks and errors, reduce employee frustration and decrease employee turnover. Without proper training, the EHR system will not be used to its fullest capacity. Create a training timeline, for which you will set short and long term goals for training completion. For example, a short term goal would be to have all users learn to log-in to the system (and ensure access) by week one. A long term goal would be to train all patient care coordinators to input a new patient by week four. Plan to have multiple training sessions and set aside time in schedule for training. By allowing dedicated time for training, you will achieve greater concentration from the staff.

2) User’s Skill Levels

It is important to properly assess your clinicians’ current skill level and comfort with computers, especially for those that are transitioning from paper charts. Determine if your staff are computer-literate or if they need additional training. If your budget allows, seek out additional basic computer training for those clinicians that are less tech savvy.

3) EHR Training Team

Designate a super user, or several, depending on your practice size. Allocate an individual in each department that has a more comprehensive understanding of the system. This person will likely be very tech savvy and will be provided additional training. This way, your clinical staff members will have a person to reach out to in their own respective departments. Identify leaders in your practice who will be called upon to mentor and train new staff.

Recommended Reading: EHR Selection Survival Guide - Get your EHR selection right so your training fits your practice

4) Targeted EHR Training

Train only what each department/clinician needs to know. Trying to train the entire staff on all aspects of the new EHR system is a waste of time and resources. If an evaluating physical therapist needs to know how to document initial evaluation findings and a physical therapist assistant only needs to know how to write a daily note, then save time by only including the physical therapist in the evaluation documentation training. Too often, practices make the mistake of training staff in areas that need not be. By focusing training on the “need to know” areas, there will be less confusion and greater attention paid to the training session.

5) Real Time EHR Training

Allow staff to follow along with training in real time. Each staff member should be seated with a computer to follow along with the instructing super user. Provide each clinician a “cheat sheet” or reference page as well. All instructions should be written out for later reference. By providing all instruction on a written reference page, clinicians will be able to follow along and “do” instead of “watch.” By inputting data and selecting patient records along with the instructor, they will better remember their training. Watching is too passive. Encourage action.

When it comes to EHR training; utilize the resources that your EHR system provides. Training does not stop with one, two or even ten training sessions. Select a good EHR system and it will make itself available to your users for further reference and questions.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant

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