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Are you fully invested in your EHR?

Everybody needs education, and that may be doubly true when it comes to your EHR. To put it simply: education is power. Power to do your job more effectively. Power to contribute and make decisions. Power to be able to use the software competently — and by doing so, to provide better patient care. 

In other words: no matter how advanced your EHR is, if you’re not engaging in ongoing education, you’re limiting the effectiveness of your system, your people, and your practice as a whole.

Why is training necessary?

Of course when you first adopt a system, you need training in how to use it; that’s a given. But once you’ve mastered the basics, why should you engage in ongoing training? It’s easy to assume that your EHR education is a one-and-done scenario; that once that initial training is under your belt, you’re covered for the foreseeable future.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Although we often think of learning as an up-front experience, in reality the learning is really an ongoing process. Your practice isn’t static, and your EHR needs to be flexible enough to grow and change right along with the needs of your practice.

In this ever-evolving world, staying ahead of the curve is important. To perform your job effectively and competently within the system, you need not only a firm foundation in core knowledge, but continuing education regarding things such as add-on services and new innovations. Being open to new knowledge and new training is a requirement when adopting an EHR.

Is there an end point to learning?

There’s always something new to learn, especially in the world of healthcare technology. Systems are constantly changing and improving (and if yours isn’t, you won’t be using it for long). Software evolves, sometimes at a lightning pace. Standards change. Enhancements are routinely added, and new needs are addressed as they arise. 

All this can change the way you — regardless of your position in the practice — do your day-to-day job, and education supporting these changes has to evolve as quickly as the system. Education isn’t a goal to be achieved; instead, it’s a journey to be followed.

Why should you invest in employee education?

Adopting an EHR is a big commitment, and if you’re not using the system to its fullest capability then you’re not fully invested in the EHR. To get the biggest bang for your buck from your EHR, you’ve got to invest in educating your people on how to use it to the fullest. That means ongoing training to keep abreast of new and innovative features, changing standards, and other steps in the evolution of your system.

It also means investing in the time to let people learn. If you’re not providing the space for learners to learn, you’re short changing yourself and your practice; anyone who’s not confident and comfortable using the system is going to be less able to do their job effectively — and that’s a net loss for everyone.

Investing in employee training is really investing in your people themselves, and in the long-term health of your practice.

Jeannine Hathaway
jhathaway@officepracticum.com


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