Electronic Medical Records: Training Hospital Staff to Use a New EMR

The resistance that clinicians once put up during electronic medical records software implementation is fast fading away. But getting all surgeons, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and admin staff to use complex EMR systems can be a daunting task. Without effective staff training, the new system could become cumbersome and hard to use for the simplest record keeping operations.

Proper training is essential for successful EMR implementation. It prevents errors, employee frustration, and poor patient care. Here are some EMR training tips and ideas that’ll help your staff use the system efficiently.

1. Identify Computer Skill Gaps and Offer Basic Training

This is essential for practices where employees have been using a paper-based record keeping system with minimal computer use. Proper computer training leads to a smooth transition process during the implementation phase. If your practice has been using various types of practice management software, however, you may skip this step. What should you do to determine each employee’s computer skill level?

  • Use a computer skills test or an online exam.
  • Create your assessment exam as soon as you know the computer skills your staff needs.
  • Use an online quiz creation program to create your assessment test.

After you’ve identified skill gaps, you must provide the training needed to fill the gaps as quickly as possible. One option is to hire a computer instructor to train your staff in-house or arrange for them to take classes at a community college. Another option is to ask your staff to use some of the free online training provided by non-profit organizations.

2. Appoint “Super Users”

To provide adequate in-house support for all staff, you need to appoint and train tech-savvy employees as “super users.” These users can provide tips, assistance, and shortcuts to other users. They can also train new employees to use the system productively.

When you’re appointing these “super users,” choose people who:

  • Are highly skilled computer users
  • Can quickly learn new data processing concepts
  • Are happy to make the transition to a new EMR system
  • Display a willingness and ability to help other users learn to use the system
  • Are good leaders and have a good relationship with co-workers
  • Understand how your organization works

Start by making a list of all responsibilities and skills that your “super users” need. Then, conduct a selection process or interview. After choosing the “super users,” offer a bonus in the form of money or extra days off to motivate them.

3. Train Users on Aspects They’ll Use Regularly

Not all employees need to learn to use all features and modules of the EMR system. In fact, trying to train all staff to use every feature will slow down implementation considerably and lead to frustration among your staff. Apart from the intensive training you give “super users,” you need to train each user on the aspects of the EMR that they’ll need daily. This will reduce the time spent on training and learning while mitigating frustration and confusion.

For instance, users in the accounts department must know how to quickly locate billing codes and other insurance information. They also need to be able to make an electronic claim and send instant messages to doctors. But they don’t have to learn how to enter the results of the diagnosis, check medical examination results, or transfer patient charts.

4. Schedule Feedback Meetings

Training should not end after implementing the EMR. After you install the system and start using it, you’ll encounter some challenges with workflow, speed, and user adaptation. To prevent these issues from disrupting the smooth operations in your company, you need to get regular feedback. After you identify the problems that users are having, take time to arrange them in order of importance and tackle them one after the other.

Get Professional Help for Your EMR System Training

With the assistance of an EMR system specialist like HEF Solutions, you can plan and carry out effective staff training. We can help you train all categories of staff to use all the EMR systems that we supply and support. Give us a call now to get a free consultation on electronic medical records system training.


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