Training Considerations for Health Information Technology


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This article looks at items to take into account when implementing health information technology (HIT). After selecting and preparing computerized medical record software, training health care workers to use the new technology remains a critical need. The health care industry must strive to create training that can be delivered with minimal impact on staffing, the flexibility to meet the needs of multiple disciplines, and the effectiveness to decrease the impact on revenue that is commonly seen after the implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) system.

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Training Considerations for Health Information Technology

  1. 1. T R A I N I N G C O N S I D E R AT I O N S F O R H E A LT H I N F O R M AT I O N T E C H N O L O G Y
  2. 2. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GY ~ Share This! ~ Post this to your blog, Twitter™, LinkedIn® or Delicious™ accounts or email this to someone who might enjoy it. Share Remix Attribute Share Alike 11639 E. Wethersfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 USA Toll-free: 877-614-84402 © 2010 by Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd. dba Michaels & AssociatesPage Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. For more information, check out
  3. 3. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GYI M P L E M E N T I N G H I T: T H E S E A R C H F O RE F FE C T I V E A N D F LE X I B LE T R A I N I N GExecutive SummaryThe business of healthcare is experiencing change of a magnitude that hasnever before been seen. The implementation of health information technology(HIT) is burgeoning within health care organizations across the United States.After selecting and preparing computerized medical record software, traininghealth care workers to use the new technology remains a critical need.Relatively new to technology, the health care industry must strive to createtraining that can be delivered with minimal impact on staffing, the flexibility tomeet the needs of multiple disciplines, and the effectiveness to decrease theimpact on revenue that is commonly seen after the implementation of anelectronic medical record (EMR) system. 3 Page
  4. 4. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GY The New World of Health Information Technology In light of recent ARRA legislation, healthcare organizations are scrambling to comply with government mandates and implement health information technology. HIT includes such things as:  Computerized physician order entry.  Computerized documentation of patient biometric information. Resources Devoted to the Implementation of HIT  Electronic delivery of diagnostic test results.  Computerized documentation of physician, nursing and allied health Software Purchase patient care plans and notes. • >$10,000 per Prescriber  Evidence-based guidance. The scope of HIT requires that all health care workers must be trained to use the Software Implementation computer system. • 1.5 X purchase costs • Technical configuration Although many resources are focused on defining such things as meaningful use • Additional staff • Decreased productivity & revenue loss of health information technology, levels of adoption, and software selection, little attention has been focused on the training and support of the health care workers Training • No published cost measures exist who ultimately use health information technology on a daily basis.4Page
  5. 5. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GYThe Current State of the IndustryHealth care as an industry is a latecomer to the computer age, and many nurses and physicians are novice computer users. They are now faced withthe challenges of learning basic computer operation and the introduction of computer technology into the daily work of patient care. These challengesprecipitate changes in workflow and data entry processes that can impact the delivery of patient care.Components of Effective TrainingIt is essential that health care staff are properly trained and prepared to use health information technology, and health care organizations must createeffective and flexible training through a variety of delivery methods such as online courses, instructor-led training and hands-on practice. Training mustalso focus on the key concepts and processes, and it should be chunked into flexible learning modules that can be reused to meet the needs of themany different roles involved in the delivery of patient care. Example of Chunking Training into Modules for Flexibility and Reusability Training Modules Learner Roles Physician Nurse Social Worker Nursing Assistant How to enter vital signs X X How to view vital signs X X How to enter an order X X How to view an order X X 5 Page
  6. 6. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GY Because EMR software is constantly changing—with upgrades and new functionality—training must keep up with the change. Learning modules must be designed so they can be quickly and easily updated to reflect changes in software or processes and can be utilized for ongoing employee training long after the initial implementation training. Implementation of effective, successful HIT training requires several components:  A development team with an in-depth knowledge of the processes and practices associated with the delivery of patient care and a detailed understanding of computer technology and the possibilities and limitations of an EMR system  Expertise in and application of adult learning theory and instructional design principles  A focus on the end users—the targets of change—and their concerns and needs  A dedication to creating conditions for success during this time of extreme organizational change There are few experts within the health care industry who possess this combination of skills to design effective training.6Page
  7. 7. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GYThe Clinical SpecialistHistorically, training within health care has focused on the validation and advancement of clinical skills—a task most often performed by clinicalexperts such as registered nurses trained as clinical nurse specialists. Although clinical nurse specialists are experts in the processes and practices ofthe delivery of health care, the training of computer technology is typically not within the scope of expertise for these professionals.The Information Technology SolutionA new breed of health care professionals has arisen in response to the growing need for HIT implementation expertise. These professionals includenursing informaticists, medical informaticists, and other licensed health care professionals who focus on the integration of technology with the deliveryof health care. The design and delivery of HIT training is often delegated to the informaticist, who possesses an in-depth knowledge of patient caredelivery processes as well as an understanding of health information technology. Missing from the equation, however, is the expertise in adultlearning, instructional design, and change management.The Software Vendor SolutionIn response to the lack of effective training solutions, many vendors of electronic medical records systems offer prefabricated or customized training toa health care organization. Although a software vendor is an expert in the functionality and processes associated with their particular EMR system, thevendor is often unfamiliar with the unique culture and processes of each health care organization. Oftentimes the result is training that teaches healthcare staff how the software works, but not how to use the software in their daily work. 7 Page
  8. 8. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GY The Instructional Design Solution Infrequently seen in health care but utilized by many other industries, the instructional designer is trained to tap the knowledge of subject matter experts in order to design and deliver effective training. Instructional designers for an initiative as large and complex as EMR implementation typically work in a team to provide consultation services and training solutions. They can collaborate closely with subject matter experts in all areas to perform tasks such as:  Clarify organizational goals and objectives. The Instructional Designer’s Role  Identify the target training population: their characteristics, current processes, and needs. Clinical Nurse Specialist: Software Vendor:  Analyze the level of performance to be attained as a result of the training. Patient care Software function processes and training  Determine strategies for transferring learned skills into the workplace. and training Instructional Designer:  Identify learning objectives for the training program. Utilizes subject matter experts in all three  Design and develop a flexible, comprehensive training program that meets the areas to design effective and efficient training needs of learners, is instructionally sound, creates conditions for success, and based on adult learning theory and instructional design principles meets the business needs of the health care organization.  Implement the training solution along with complementary communications to prepare learners for success. Clinical Informaticist:  Evaluate the success of the training program. Software function and patient care processes8Page
  9. 9. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GYBenefits of an Instructional Design SolutionThe delivery of training to patient care staff is a large expense for an organization,triggering increased payroll costs during the training and implementation period. Althoughhiring instructional designers to manage the training is also an investment, it is oftenmore economical than using the internal resources because:  The internal resources are usually fully booked with work. Stretching internal resources can be detrimental to morale, but hiring additional permanent employees can be expensive and time consuming. Instructional design consultants are fully engaged in the learning project and feel the urgency of deadlines.  Successful instructional design consultants have proven track records, protocols, methodologies, and efficiencies that reduce development time and money.  Instructional designers are skilled at learning new technologies and business processes and can quickly assimilate into the organization’s environment. This acceleration provides an excellent return on investment.  Consultants schedule their work around the subject matter experts’ commitments, maximizing their time and reducing their time away from their other priorities. 9 Page
  10. 10. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GY Conclusion A critical component in the successful implementation of health information technology is training. However, very limited attention and resources have been dedicated toward helping novice users in the industry gain the necessary skills to be successful with the technology. HIT process, practice, integration and functionality experts have historically been tasked with creating training, but they lack the essential expertise to create instructionally sound, effective solutions. By completing the existing team of experts with experienced instructional design consultants, health care organizations can achieve optimal ROI and deliver EMR system training that meets the needs of the staff and the business objectives of the organization.10Page
  11. 11. TRAINING CONS IDERATIONS FOR HEALT H INFORMAT ION TECHNOLO GYAt Michaels & Associates, we provide consultation services and custom training development for a variety of businesses including the healthcareindustry. We help our clients build an environment for individuals where learning matters and profoundly impacts every person, business andcommunity. To learn more about how Michaels & Associates can help your organization build effective EMR training, contact us.Michaels & Associates — where applied learning and your business goals meet. toll-free: 877-614-8440 11 Page