Loretta Gallagher lists 10 Great EMR Training Tidbits

1. EMR training is expensive, no way around this fact. You will need space, infrastructure, equipment, curriculum developers, trainers, tracking mechanisms and last but not least your staff attending training during work hours.

2. Training is a skill, not everyone can be a successful trainer. Do not under estimate how important an engaging, material expert trainer is when staff is in training four to eight hours at a clip.

3. Do not skimp on training, this is not the place to squeeze budget. Training will likely be the first time your staff sees and touches your new software. Dazzle them with the great product you have created in a state of the art classroom with all equipment functioning and expert trainers.

4. Make sure your training environment or domain is robust and complete, you do not want things not working during training. End users often do not understand there are different environments or domains and when things do not work in training they instantly begin to imagine things not working in production.

5. People have different learning styles, incorporate many learning styles into your classes.

6. Make sure staff has an opportunity and time to complete some exercises on their own or in a computer lab once trained. You have to find ways to keep staff practicing up to go live. You cannot run someone through an eight hour training class five weeks before go live and think they will remember if they do not have an opportunity to play in the system; and you cannot train everyone a week or two out from go live. You need to find a balance and keep staff engaged.

7. Do not be quick to make copies of training material or tip sheets for students. Your system will be in a constant state of changes however small these changes are. Once it is on paper and in the units it is very hard to pull them back. If your system allows you to store your tip sheets within it, great; if not make a page on the intranet for staff to find material and tips.

8. Training does not go away once you are live. Have a strong post live training plan. Not only will you have new staff, staff changing roles and FMLA staff but you will also have optimizations, upgrades and likely added scope post live.

9. As I just mentioned training does not go away. Do not staff with all in-house staff expecting to go back to their roles post live. Although you may need less trainers post live, you will still need trainers.

10. Have a good LMS (Learning Management System); it will streamline registration, tracking and help with assigning security. Remember everyone using the new EMR will need training and all might not be employees. Ensure your LMS will allow non-employee users.

Your EMR software will likely be one of the most expensive endeavors your hospital system dives into. There will be great thought and expertise in building this software. You will probably contract some highly skilled software builders to work with your in-house team to streamline your build. Remember, it does not matter how fantastic your build is if training falls flat. If staff does not know how to use the whistles and bells you have spent so much time and money building it is for naught. I have experiences hospital systems that had A+ build, spent a ton of money getting everything just right; in fact so much money getting the build right that there was little money left in the budget for training. A+ build with C- training leads to frustrated staff that has trouble stabilizing post live and creates thousands of tickets during go live that are not break/fix, but really “how to’s”. In the same respect I have seen C build with A+ training; staff stabilizing quickly post live, tickets are mainly break/fix type tickets; staff feels confident in their use of the new system and morale and teamwork are strong.

Teaching is a profession, it take practice, skill and education.
Traditionally there are three waves of staff for your EMR training. You will have your curriculum developers would should be on the team from the beginning of your build working on materials while your build team is building, you will have your classroom trainers who will join the team about four months before you go live; this will likely be a large group and lastly you will have your post live trainers; do not under estimate post live training it remains a robust role.