We noticed recently a lengthy blog post by a consultant, offering advice to hospitals that use a popular EHR system about how to structure a successful user training program. The post ran over 1,100 words. No doubt the article offered sound, best practices guidance to those hospitals. Still, it left us wondering: If it takes this long just to outline the basic parameters of an EHR training program, how complex must the training program development and administration be? Moreover, how long must the training itself be?
Our conclusion: Way too complex, and far too long.
For years, PatientKeeper has believed that users of our software should require no more training than what they need when they download a new app to their smartphone – in other words, hardly any. That is because EHR users are the most important, limited and expensive resource in the healthcare system – physicians – and removing them from circulation for lengthy systems training is counterproductive to patient care. Accordingly, one of PatientKeeper’s core design principals has always been to make our applications as intuitive for physicians as possible. The result has been that physicians typically need only about 15-30 minutes of “orientation” to get up and running on our software.
Now that virtually every provider organization has deployed an EHR, the cumulative impact of system training requirements on physician productivity is incalculable. There is no denying the importance of physicians becoming proficient on EHRs. The issue is how long does – and should – it take physicians to attain such proficiency.