Take training seriously at your practice and you may find that you have a much happier relationship with your EHR system.
According to data by The American College of Physicians and AmericanEHR Partners, physician satisfaction with their EHR systems is decreasing. User satisfaction fell 12 percent from 2010 to 2012, and the percentage of users who described themselves as "very satisfied" with their HER systems increased 10 percent during this period.
"There are several reasons physicians end up unhappy with their [EHR] systems, and one of the most common is flawed training," says Jeffery Daigrepont, healthcare IT expert and vice president of the Coker Group, a healthcare industry advisory firm. And indeed, a close look at the data bears this out. While a minimum of three days to five days of training is considered necessary for overall satisfaction, nearly half of those responding to the survey indicated that they had received three days or fewer of training.
But simply getting in five days of training is not enough. You have to train correctly. Thorough and smart training could mean the difference between an EHR system you want to throw out the window and one that makes your practice run smoothly while at the same time increasing your bottom line.
Here are three tips to help you make sure your staff is not only trained, but trained well.
• Training should be an ongoing process. No matter how many days you designate for training, that should not be the end of it. Regular online tutorials, occasional workshops, and taking advantage of any training support your vendor offers will all help keep your staff up to speed on the new system.
• Don't waste training hours. Be sure the trainer knows how your work flow is set up before he begins the session. Provide the trainer with all the information necessary to tailor the training to your specific routines.
• Designate super users. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology suggests training super users for your practice, a few people who can learn the software inside and out and help others (who may be less tech savvy) learn the system. Most experts agree that this is a good idea, with one caveat: Having super users doesn't mean you can skimp on training everyone else.
"Often practices train just a few key employees which is a mistake. If all your staff is not trained properly, there will be a breakdown in the flow of your practice which can lead to patient dissatisfaction, work backlog, and interruptions in your revenue cycle," said Tammie Olsen of Management Resource Group, a firm offering financial management and support services for the healthcare community.