Electronic health record (EHR) systems are designed to automate and streamline patient management. However, to reap the benefits of an EHR implementation, your team members must know how to use the software effectively.
When training is inadequate, your new EHR system may instead contribute to clinician burnout.
Why is EHR training important and why should you make this a key part of your digital transformation? Let’s take a look.
Mounting Stress on Physicians
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), physician burnout rates spiked to 63% in 2021. At the time, a majority of stressors were pandemic-related, but more than two years later, the numbers haven’t really improved.
With EHR software, medical teams should theoretically be able to work more collaboratively and efficiently. However, in many cases, this technology contributes to increased stress levels among physicians, assistants, and office staff.
The Root of EHR Frustration
In one recent study, 91% of family physicians reported using an electronic health record system. Of those, nearly 70% reported at least one symptom of health IT-related stress.
While they admitted that the technology made some aspects of their jobs easier, they also noted that the negatives often outweighed the positives.
What’s driving the dissatisfaction? More than 46% said they don’t have time to sufficiently manage documentation, while nearly 40% said they spend too much time on EHRs at home.
EHR Selection Case Study
EHR Training: The Missing Component
When you conduct a careful EHR system selection, and the system is a strong functional and technical fit, but you don’t adequately train physicians and nurses, they begin to believe there’s something wrong with the technology rather than something lacking in the organization’s approach to training.
Don’t let this happen to your new EHR system. When you invest in adequate training, clinicians will be more likely to effectively use the software to improve patient care. They will use it to manage patient records, test results, treatment plans, and more.
EHR Training Options
If you’re thinking about implementing an EHR solution at your healthcare facility, it’s important to focus on end-user training from the start. As you plan your training approach, there are several methods to consider.
At-the-elbow training requires a significant investment of time and resources. This is a professional development approach that centers on providing one-on-one user support to clinicians.
With online training, on the other hand, users learn the system indirectly, by watching an online lesson or completing a practice module. Virtual EHR training sessions are typically brief and can supplement classroom sessions that last anywhere from three to eight hours.
You may find the best way to maximize the benefits of your EHR investment is to incorporate elements of a variety of training methods.
How to Implement an EHR Training Plan
The approach you take to EHR training will depend on a variety of factors, such as your employees’ current level of understanding and the type of system you’re implementing.
Regardless of the specific tools and techniques you use, there are a few strategies that can help you maximize your training time:
- Conducting multiple change impact sessions to understand what EHR workflows employees need to learn
- Leveraging your SMEs and department leads to help design the training
- Developing a communication plan to keep employees informed and motivated
- Customizing your training based on each employee’s roles and responsibilities
- Devoting sufficient time to your EHR training sessions
- Conducting post-go-live assessments to see what your employees still need to learn
Why is EHR Training Important?
There’s no doubt that EHR technology has transformed the modern healthcare workplace. These systems can make patient data more secure and accessible, while improving patient care.
However, this is only possible when your clinicians are properly trained on how to use the software.
Why is EHR training important? . . . because user frustration leads to physician burnout.
Are you considering an EHR transformation at your healthcare organization? Our enterprise software consultants can help you through each critical phase. Contact us below for a free consultation.