Andrea Morgan, AndreaKnowsEMR.com
Most providers will agree that they want to care for patients, document appropriately, bill confidently and have a smooth transition from paper to electronic medical records. Having a plan in mind, such as the one outlined here, will go along way toward meeting your objectives.
- Practice overview
- Role definition
- Current state workflow defined
- Future state workflow
- Design, build, validate
- User acceptance testing
- Build for production
- Go-live support
- Post go-live support can be provided by:
○ Newsletter/tips and tricks
- Refresher training
- On-going needs for training:
○ New hire training
○ Software updates
In an ongoing series, each of these steps will be discussed in turn. Let's take a look at Steps 8 and 9, Training and Build for Production.
Workflow-based training is the best opportunity to get end users in a positive frame of mind about using an EMR when they see patients. The importance of having providers practice documenting in the same way that they will see patients cannot be overstated. You wouldn’t expect a vascular surgeon to hone his skills by doing cosmetic work, but providers are asked to learn to use technology in ways that have no relationship to how they actually see patients, with the expectation that a transformation will somehow occur and proficiency and productivity will rule the day.
The unrealistic expectation that learning to point and click is all that is required for an EMR implementation leads to frustration and anxiety that could be avoided. Many software companies offer templates and suggested configurations that give the impression that ease of installation will translate into ease of utilization. Without some context that is relevant to the clinician this assumption leads to workarounds and skipped steps. In an ideal world, training systems would replicate the system that would be used by providers on day 1. This isn’t often attainable because changes and customization, in the name of giving end users what they (think/say) they want, continue until the very last minute. Though the intentions are positive, this practice serves to undermine the ability of the end users to get relevant and practical experience before they have to use the system with actual patients, bill for actual charges.
I recommend giving providers the opportunity, in an environment that mirrors what they will actually use, to document a patient visit from start to finish. The value of this exposure and practice is in the increased confidence and familiarity and decreased anxiety and frustration. Practice makes perfect - if you practice the right thing.
Take a look at how focused practice, garners improvement: Charles Barkley's Crazy Golf Swing