3 Types of EHR Training That Must Be Included in Your Physician Satisfaction Program

Perspective from Dr. Brian Patty, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Medix Technology

My concept for building a successful physician EHR satisfaction program is similar to building a house. Once a strong foundation represented by a complete and constantly evolving EHR system, along with its associated technologies, is in place, it’s time to consider the structure that will take shape. This structure consists of three pillars, the first of which is training.

A complete EHR training program consists of a minimum of three key components: 

  • Onboarding Training: Training of users new to the organization
  • Ongoing Training: Maintenance training done at least once a year to keep users up to date on EHR, workflow and policy changes
  • Field Support: Just-in-time training for when issues arise at the point of care

Onboarding Training

Onboarding training should be customized as much as possible to the needs of the individual EHR user in both specialty workflow content and duration. It should assess their prior knowledge of both the EHR and of the organization. Then, train to the learner’s knowledge gaps. Most organizations are shifting to virtual training environments that can adapt as the learner moves through the session. The closer organizations stay to the Epic Foundation build, the better they will be able to take advantage of Epic-provided virtual training courses. A skilled trainer can also make this adaptation in-person, but it is difficult in large group sessions. KLAS research has found that instructor-led, in-person or virtual training is more effective than self-directed virtual training, so this option should be used as much as possible. While large sessions may be efficient for the training team, they tend to be inefficient for advanced learners. Onboarding should address both the standard functionality of the EHR that is appropriate for the learner and the workflows, content and locations unique to the organization.

Ongoing Training

No matter how good the initial training is, no one can achieve EHR mastery in just one training session. Additionally, the EHR, government regulations and organizational content are constantly evolving. For these reasons, a robust ongoing training program is needed at every organization.

Ongoing training should be both time and need-based. Time-based training should keep the end-user up to date with EHR changes and upgrades, workflow changes and changes to organizational or governmental policies. This type of training can be accomplished through various means such as tip sheets, virtual training, newsletters, departmental or other regular meetings and scheduled personal or group sessions. The modality chosen should fit the magnitude of the change. Need-based training can be both on-demand or identified through observation or analytics. This type of training is typically done one-on-one via a trainer or superuser, via a link to training on a user dashboard or sent directly to the individual. It is estimated that each provider should get about four hours of ongoing training annually via a combination of these methods to maximize their efficiency with the EHR.

Provider Field Support

Field support is critical to any training program. Providers are busy, and when a training issue arises, it is often in a time-critical clinical setting and far too complicated for the typical help desk. To this end, I recommend routing all provider help desk calls that are not password resets directly to a dedicated provider field support team. The team can then assist the provider with just-in-time training and issue resolution. If needed, the support team member can submit a Help Desk ticket for the provider, track it to resolution and follow up with the provider to close the loop.

The field support team can be made up of provider superusers or dedicated trainers knowledgeable in both clinical workflows and provider EHR content. The field support team can also round with providers or shadow them in the clinic to observe workflows and train on the fly. In addition, this team should attend regularly scheduled physician meetings to deliver brief training sessions or observe and answer questions. The recommended ratio of this team to providers is between an optimal 1:100 to a minimum of 1:250, as found in research by myself and by the KLAS Arch Collaborative.

Medix Technology Solutions

Your healthcare organization’s training program is only as effective as the people who support it. It’s experienced, qualified people who can bridge the gap from end user to technology, ensuring that clinicians have the confidence and know-how to leverage Epic for improved communication, data sharing, and ultimately, patient care.

Here at Medix Technology, we offer two staffing solutions to help you mitigate resource limitations and build the flexible staff you need for any type of training.

  1. For hard-to-fill full-time positions, we offer MedixDirect, which sources non-certified local talent at a lower cost compared to previously-certified talent and consultants. We identify exceptional candidates, pay to have them certified, and they’re integrated into your team within two months. This way, you’re building your own internal team, while saving up to 40%.
  2. For the highest degree of flexibility, which allows healthcare organizations like yours to confidently plan your annual project schedule, knowing you’ll need the workforce flexibility to reach your goals and stay within budget, you can turn to MedixFlex. With MedixFlex, you can take advantage of subscription-based, Epic-certified analysts with the right skills to match any of your training needs at any time.

Interested in learning more about how Medix Technology can supply the training staff you need to help ensure physician satisfaction and effective use of the Epic platform? Contact our team today.

Work with a Trusted Healthcare and Life Sciences Staffing Agency.

We help companies find great talent — and great talent find great jobs.