Preparing a Marathon Approach to MEDITECH
EHR Implementation Project Success
Anyone who’s ever been part of an EHR implementation project knows that it’s like a marathon, not a sprint. And what’s the biggest factor contributing to a marathon runner’s success? How well he or she trains.
That’s why it’s important to lay out a comprehensive training program before you undergo an Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation project.
Put the necessary time and resources into training now, and you’ll reap the rewards over the long haul.
Based on Our Experience…
The Santa Rosa team of EMR consultants has a long history of leading training programs to support go-lives for hospitals and health systems across the country. Most recently, in partnership with Sedona Learning Solutions, we worked with Lawrence General Hospital and Phoebe Putney Health System to train their users on MEDITECH systems prior to go-live.
We’ve discovered a few lessons learned from these successful programs that can be applied to future implementation projects. Consider these:
Historically, project managers have facilitated training, in addition to shepherding all other implementation phases—kickoff, build, testing, etc. That’s a lot for one person to handle. Instead, we recommend appointing a training coordinator who can serve as your single point-of-contact for all training-specific needs.
This person is responsible for creating a training schedule and coordinating the logistics of the program. He or she should ensure the training timeline accounts for testing and system updates, and includes user provisioning in accordance with the actual functions used in a live environment.
By establishing this role, you’ll benefit from greater attention to detail, so no stone is left unturned in the training phase. This can have a ripple effect across the entire implementation project, ensuring it stays on time and on budget.
An effective training program depends on several small factors that work together to make a big impact. From a physical space to equipment to team member schedules, you’ve got a lot of “ducks’ to get in a row before training even starts. We’ve learned that the most successful training programs prioritize these details upfront so the team doesn’t have to scramble to meet deadlines.
That’s why you want to hire your training coordinator as soon as your EHR vendor agreement is signed. The coordinator can then begin the process of securing a training location and equipment well in advance of training sessions. Keep in mind there will be be overlap with the majority of training occurring two months prior to go live during day shifts Monday through Friday, so you will need multiple classrooms to accommodate a full training schedule.
Additionally, plan to get the dates and times on your clinicians’ calendars early, and identify staff members who can best assist with scheduling, including physician practice managers, physician administrators, office staff, and more.
Gone are the days where EHR training was limited to in-person classroom sessions. With so many online tools available, you’d be remiss not to offer your users an eLearning option, as well.
eLearning solutions provide a standardized training methodology that can be used by everyone involved in go-live, not just clinicians. By making these online materials a pre-requisite for training, you can shorten the amount of time you need users in classes and get to your go-live faster. As much as 4-6 hours can be shaved off a typical 16 hour training regimen, which represents significant dollar savings.
An eLearning solution provides courses that you have on hand at all times and can push out to your team with no impact on the schedule. After you are live they can be used for new hire orientation, shortening the amount of time your IT support team spends onboarding new staff.
All of these offerings help improve the speed and efficiency of training overall, which makes for more satisfied users and higher system adoption down the road.
Partner with EMR Experts for MEDITECH Training
Developing and executing a comprehensive MEDITECH training program takes a lot of foresight, organization, and manpower. That’s why Santa Rosa’s healthcare IT consulting team is here to help. We offer both certified trainers and eLearning solutions —via Sedona Learning— to ensure you not only hit your implementation deadline, but your team is confident using the system when it’s live.
Contact us for more information on our EMR training consulting services.
Or, check out our white paper Using Lean Management Principles in a MEDITECH 6.1 Implementation.