There are many ways that a health system can choose to implement an EHR such as Epic. Some take the slow and steady approach, while others need fast and furious. Regardless of the pace or size of the implementation team, a critical aspect of EHR implementation is training. Skimping on the right resources and materials for delivering Epic training can make all the difference between a great Go-Live and one that fails to launch.
Today we’re going to share a few ways that hospitals and large healthcare organizations can encourage Epic adoption by providing efficient, effective training to their end-users.
Set the Stage for Epic Implementation Over and Over Again
Perhaps because Epic training often occurs toward the end of the project plan, it’s often assumed that end-users know exactly what they’re getting and therefore what they should be learning. But, this is an error in assumption! It’s always a good idea to take a few moments to set the stage in terms of the goals and timelines of the project to help clinical staff, physicians, and Super Users understand the big picture for the EHR roll out. When trainers dive right into features and functions, they miss the opportunity to instill intrinsic motivation for participation and support of the implementation, whether it’s a totally new system or simply an upgrade.
Shifting end users from a position of “this is being done to me” to a perspective of “this is being done for me” can have significant impacts on adoption and overall satisfaction with their powerful new tool for delivering excellent patient care.
Focus on Relevant Epic Workflows and Test Cases for Training
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen when it comes to training on any EHR, especially one as robust as Epic, is that instructors expect attendees to connect the dots from functionality to meaningful workflows. Training cases and example flows should be designed with the end user in mind. By focusing on relevant data elements and efficiency gains provided by the tool, clinical users are far more likely to grasp the information presented and quickly implement what they’ve learned. It admittedly takes more time and effort, but when a trainer takes the time to understand the business needs of the hospital or health system, and incorporates real life scenarios and pain points into the learning, the traction gained is incredible.
Providing Epic users with tangible, applicable use cases and realistic sample data during training will close the gap between concept and practice, setting a clear path for successful Epic Go-Live.
Don’t be Afraid to be Repetitive on Core Use Cases
While the aforementioned practice of incorporating relevant test cases for training can go a long way, it’s worth a reminder that most people need to hear a piece of information several times before it is retained. One way to minimize Information Fallout is to utilize a “hands on” mechanism during training to quickly encourage application of the content learned during the training session, be it virtual or live classroom setting. But it bears repeating that repetition is powerful, especially for crystalizing core use cases and new workflows into the muscle memory (and actual memory) of clinical end users. If physicians and their support staff have heard just once how they’re expected to utilize their Epic instance the morning of Go-Live, it’s far more likely that the implementation will require more hands-on support to make it through those critical days to see adoption through.
Plenty of practice with vital modules and workflows will minimize Epic implementation roadblocks and headaches. Quantity and quality matter when it comes to EHR training, so don’t be afraid to create natural cycles of review in course material to encourage knowledge transfer.
Create Engaging Epic Training Materials for a Modern Audience
Since we mentioned quality when it comes to training materials, it’s critical that Epic training resources are created and delivered with a modern audience in mind. Handing over a sizable user guide to a busy clinician is not going to result in a well-versed end user. No one has time to read through all that content, save for maybe a designated Super User whose job it is to become a walking user guide. Leveraging multiple forms of learning, from in-person and high touch instruction to an efficient interactive eLearning approach, is a great way to appeal to your audience while still providing valuable information to facilitate their understanding of Epic. Video content is another great way to meet users where they are, allowing for engagement with training content on their own schedule, though we highly recommend shorter video segments to this end, as well as measurable quizzes to ensure completion and comprehension.
Great Epic training materials allow for a self-service mechanism for end users to utilize post-training, minimizing the need for long-term external resource alliance, as well as a more efficient means of overcoming blockers.