Most doctors and hospital administrators can only breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to training themselves, and their staff, to use their new EHR system.
Because they don’t have to do it!
Your EHR vendor is going to be the best resource for training your staff on EHR. However, all trainers aren’t created equal. Just because a trainer is working for a reputable EHR vendor doesn’t mean they’re the best person to train your staff. It’s important to vet your trainer just as you vetted your EHR vendors during the selection process.
So, what should you look out for?
When you signed the contract with your EHR vendor, you likely already hammered out how many hours your staff would get in training. Go over your contract again to make sure you’re fully informed on what your staff should receive. As training progresses, keep track of this time to make sure you’re getting everything you paid for from your trainer.
It’s just as important for you to interview the training team as it was to interview the project and leadership team.
Usually, trainers who have actually worked in a clinic or hospital are the most effective, but take that advice with a grain of salt; it isn’t always the case.
You can also ask your EHR trainer the following questions to get a sense of how experienced they are:
- How long have you been an EHR trainer?
- Have you ever worked in a hospital or clinical setting? If so, please tell me about your experience, and how large the practice was.
- Have you had unhappy trainees in the past? If so, how did you handle them?
- What kind of education/experience do you have that qualifies you to train my staff? What kind of training have you received from this vendor?
- What kind of timeline/schedule do you have planned for my staff?
- What strengths do you feel make you an effective trainer?
Ask your trainer what kind of methods they’re going to be using with your staff.
For instance, will there be classroom and hands-on training? If so, how long? Will there be any online training?
Will there be practice scenarios, with mock-patient check-ins, to give staff a feel for the system once it’s fully functional?
What kind of training materials will you staff have access to? Here are some of the most commonly used materials:
- Training Manual- Make sure the manual the trainer will be using is relevant to the size and scope of your practice and workflows.
- E-Learning- With E-Learning modules, it’s important to personally run through training yourself first. This enables you to see if the information and training is easily accessible for your staff. E-Learning classes should be participatory so your staff is engaged and learns easily.
- Pocket Guides-Many vendors will distribute pocket guides to staff that have step-by-step instructions for major processes. These guides should cover all the major functions of your EHR system.
Your staff might learn best if they’re grouped by job role for the purpose of training. For instance, RNs, administrative staff, and physicians could all go through training together. Often, this makes training more efficient.