Electronic medical records, or EMRs, are revolutionizing patient care and clinical practice. Also known as electronic health records, or EHRs, these digitized forms of the classic paper medical records are greatly improving treatment access and efficiency and are quickly becoming the standard at all levels of the healthcare field.
As more healthcare providers, insurers and other industry stakeholders join the overwhelming consensus and make the switch, the question remains how best to ensure the change is beneficial for stressed workers. For those that want to provide exceptional services to their clients, the answer may lie in approaching digital EMR software training and health information technology education.
Using EMR software as a healthcare professional makes sense in an increasingly digitized world. These tools — and the software that powers them — can be accessed instantly from anywhere, and can be much more efficient and effective than manual alternatives. They also lower the barriers to sharing patient data, medical histories, and other information with other practitioners. An EMR system’s ability to accept real-time updates contributes to massive improvements in diagnostic accuracy and reduce medical error.
Although EMR is an incredibly useful medical software, transitioning to a new, unfamiliar operating standard can be hard work for even the most well-organized healthcare organizations. Healthcare professionals need to be provided with the appropriate level of instruction to ensure a seamless transition. Here are a few of the reasons practitioners need to invest in comprehensive EMR training to improve employee satisfaction:
The push for electronic health records is about more than just going paperless. These tools introduce new security concerns and obligations thanks to rules like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.Their usage also plays a huge role in the dispensation of funding under regulations like the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. Practitioners, researchers and medical device manufacturers that want to use digital records must jump through the appropriate compliance hoops.
Although most electronic recordkeeping tools include systems designed to keep their users compliant, these features can’t necessarily overcome human errors. For instance, a practitioner that runs secure software on insecure networks might compromise their patients’ privacy without knowing it. Just as clinicians and office staff need training to master the caregiving tools of their trade, they also require education to apply protective software features properly and avoid the anxiety of cleaning up PR nightmares.
It’s also worth noting that EMR software has multiple functions which each take time to learn. For instance, some features are designed for keeping patient information and maintaining client profiles. Many applications cater to specialist practices, such as chiropractors, speech therapists and other rehabilitative specialists, by including diagnostic frameworks specific to those domains.
Training makes adopting an EMR system easier and satisfies employees by simplifying processes and teaching them what to expect from each EMR system feature. It can also leave employees better equipped to confront and solve discouraging, unexpected errors that pop up along the way.
Most EMR software tools can validate user input. For instance, a pharmaceutical prescription tool might alert a doctor when they enter a dosage value that seems like a typo. Such mechanisms are by no means infallible, however, and they can’t prevent every potential coding error.
Not understanding how to use and review electronic records might lead to cash flow problems and even misprescription. When it’s time to submit reimbursement claims, seemingly minor mistakes can result in massive headaches. Rules like MACRA also have strict definitions of what constitutes meaningful use, making it imperative to analyze the data in the correct empirical fashion. Professional education is vital to learning the fundamentals that keep practices profitable and contribute to smooth-running workplaces.
Healthcare workers deal with significant stress as it is. Adding to their woes by using a system that’s confusing, hard to manage or that they simply don’t feel properly acquainted with can decrease operational efficiency and contribute to a lowered morale.
Solid training practices can fight such trends. What’s more, they do so without requiring massive expense outlays, and in most cases, they contribute to bottom-line improvements. By equipping workers with the knowledge they need to use their record software efficiently, practices make it far more likely that these frontline caregivers will appreciate the benefits of making the switch.
Training that addresses these concerns effectively focuses on providing professionals with practice-specific knowledge. Take these pointers to heart to implement a more practical education program:
Not every employee will need to know the software inside and out, and spending time teaching information that may be irrelevant to some is an unnecessary time-waster that will cause employees to lose focus. Simplify training programs by eschewing the one-size-fits-all approach in favor of learner-oriented specificity. Train each employee on the specific features, workflows and systems they’ll encounter and use during their regular duties.
One caveat to the previous rule involves training a few users to master the software in its entirety. Designating a few expert users that have demonstrated the computer literacy and willingness to teach others will make education and adoption much more effective.
These users might later serve as troubleshooters that their coworkers can turn to if they need help or clarification. They’ll also become natural thought leaders that can offer suggestions on how to adapt the system to improve efficiency and dodge usage hurdles.
Good medical record software providers know that adoption takes time, so they provide training systems to help. These tools may make it easier to build a comprehensive education system that allows employees to learn.
Training works best when it evolves to meet the learners’ needs. Post-session assessments are critical for identifying potential knowledge gaps and building a truly effective learning system. Take the time to talk with your employees and listen to their concerns, responding to any comments or questions they may have about the software. This will not only increase employee engagement, but improve confidence in performing their jobs to the best of their abilities.
From enhancing employee satisfaction to furthering the ideals of patient care, EMR software training provides numerous gains for patients, healthcare professionals and facility owners. Before tossing your workers into a vortex of data, dashboards and unfamiliar technology, take the time to design a learning framework that adapts to their needs. To learn more about deploying your EMR software successfully, talk to a Practice Perfect specialist.