Training and change management are constant and never-ending cost components of EMR technology. Studies have shown new staff needs training for basic computer skills aside from the EMR application itself. Devices such as scanners and fax servers are essential for EMR implementation, however if the practice doesn’t currently utilize these devices, staff needs training on them. Being a major application, the EMR software possesses multiple new functions entailing constant repetition of training over a long time frame allowing staff to master its use. Yet initial trainings from EMR vendors are very limited and in the long run clinics discover additional training is needed.

Failure for new EMR implementations nationwide has been largely attributed to inadequate training.  By avoiding the 8 Fundamental Sins of EMR Trainings, clients would learn the most cost-effective way to train staff and improve investment return.

1. Huge time gap between training and actual use

EMR vendors rush staff training even before the enrollment is settled. Weeks later, practices realize that staff has already forgotten using the new EMR system and they have no option but to purchase additional training days. Resolve this dilemma by starting training right after the setup process is complete.

2. Training the entire staff on all EMR features

Clinic staff in larger clinics typically plays different roles complemented by features in the EMR system specific to their practice. Training of staff must be based on their roles and the features they need to use. Have the EMR vendor train a set of super-users who would train the rest of the staff in return.

3. Training ends after implementation

Training staff is a continuous process as roles and responsibilities shift over time with new employees joining the circle every now and then. It’s best to possess your own super-users responsible for the ongoing cycle of training.

4. Allowing the EMR vendor to train on basic computer skills

Instead of relying on EMR vendors to teach basic computer skills, have your staff educate each other on simple skills. If not possible enroll them in an adult-education course or hire a computer science student to do the job. You’ll save more money from all three than from the EMR vendor.

5. Training remotely over web conference media is enough

Remote training options using Webex or GoToMeeting sessions over the Internet may cost less but are never as effective as face-to-face training. Prefer on-site training and insist on an expert present on-site during go-live.

6. Formal training materials not present

Acquire formal training materials from the vendor for future use of training new staff. If not available, have your staff take snapshots and create your own training binder. Better yet, use desktop recording software for video and audio.

7. Training from EMR Vendor is a “One Size Fits All”

Though the same software is used, your clinic has specific unique requirements not met by the “one size fits all” approach. Your best option is to ask the vendor to design a training session suitable for you to maximize needed skills with time.

8. Not validating EMR vendor’s credentials

Never forget to confirm the trainer’s credentials before they arrive to ensure your unique requirements would be catered.