Every phase of implementation is essential to the success of a project. However, training is especially important as your staff must be compliant, prepared and comfortable with all the impending changes to workflows and their environment.
In previous weeks, we discussed key components of the 5 phases leading up to training and if you’d like, you can review them here. Today, we will be covering the “training” phase which typically takes 2-3 months to complete dependent on number of employees and physicians.
Here are 5 things to consider:
- Approach: The training approach needs to be documented in the training plan which will include details on the various training sub-phases, scope, resources and timeline. Training requires multiple individuals throughout the organization and the “train the trainer” approach is typically utilized for end users. Physicians should be considered separate from end users during this phase. Training encompasses both learning the new system and its associated processes. The timeline is based on the number of employees and physicians, training rooms, devices in those rooms, length of the session and what needs to be done after training is completed related to project, primarily parallel testing. Documentation during this phase should include development of manuals, supporting documentation and quizzes. And lastly, the management of these training classes, registrations and monitoring process is developed during this time.
- Trainers: Due to the volume of users that need to be trained, there will be a need for additional trainers for end users in areas such as, nursing and registration. Trainers will be outsourced from the project core team, however, the additional trainers are not included in that pool. These additional trainers could be utilized for both end user training and go-live support and they will need to be trained by project core team members. Organizations should leverage existing internal trainers for assistance because they are the ones that will be responsible for training after the system goes live.
- End Users: The end users are organized based on department and role. It’s important that the training registration process is easy to understand and the expectation for users to attend is clearly communicated. Project core team members need to be available during the early part of the training phase to assist with access and menu issues. You should have a sign-in sheet in order to track attendance for each session and we recommend that quizzes should be given at end of each session to measure competency so you can identify areas of remediation. End users should be encouraged to practice after training leading up to parallel testing and go-live. Also, there should be a feedback form provided on effectiveness of the trainer and session.
- Physicians: Physician training will be handled differently from end user training and should be initiated as close as possible to the go-live date. Physician trainers need to be identified and trained in preparation for these sessions. We advise organizations to have two trainers in each session – one teaching the class, and the other walking around providing assistance to physicians. Physician training is usually shorter than end user training and the time length needs to be determined prior to these sessions. Additionally, you will need to consider all of the various components that will be covered during training and if there will be multiple sessions. Lastly, you may need to be creative and flexible on how training is provided whether it be in a classroom, one-on-one or in the office.
- Monitoring: Training compliance is extremely important to a project’s success and requires tracking attendance and reporting back to leadership. We advise that you refrain from providing log-ins to the new system until the first training session begins and only providing log-ins to those that attend training, including both end users and physicians. You should incorporate weekly updates that are documented in the project status on training statistics by each department. These updates will be turned over to the department leadership reporting who has attended and who is outstanding. This is critical phase and 100% compliance is mandatory.
If you are considering implementing a new system or upgrading your current MEDITECH environment, our team would be happy to provide specific insight depending on your needs and answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at email@example.com or call us at (855) 276-9112. We encourage you to subscribe to our blog to catch more insight on the remaining phases in this series on implementation.
About The Author:
Craig McCollum is AVP of Professional Services at Parallon Technology Solutions. In this role, he is responsible for implementation services and project delivery for PTS’ clients. Craig has more than 20 years of healthcare IT and finance experience, including practice leadership, business development, EHR project leadership, EHR implementation and financial management.
Craig is a member of Medical Users Software Exchange (MUSE) and Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Craig is MEDITECH READY certified in project management, general financials, supply chain management and human resources planning. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Fresno State University.