EHR Training for Healthcare Staff: Best Practices

EHR_training

Adding an electronic health records (EHR) system for your healthcare organization is must have for healthcare providers. Research shows that 96% of hospitals in the United States use an EHR system.  However, without knowledge and training, teams can’t use this technology to their advantage. But how do you provide training that works?

In this post, we’ll unpack why EHR training is so important. Plus, we’ll cover EHR training best practices and share how you can maximize the impact of your training programs.

Why Is EHR Training Important?

Adequate EHR training protects your investment in the powerful EHR clinical systems. Without it, you risk operating with inaccurate patient data. You may also end up decreasing clinician productivity and job satisfaction.

In contrast, well-trained staff can use EHR’s advanced functionality like e-prescribing and clinical decision support capabilities. This improves care quality and patient outcomes. All while streamlining operational workflows. Effective training also boosts team confidence and accelerates digital transformation. 

9 Best Practices For Successful EHR Training

Delivering effective EHR training requires an approach tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Here are some best practices to consider:

1. Assess EHR training needs and healthcare staff skill levels

Before rolling out a new EHR system, take time to evaluate your staff’s current skills and experience levels. Identify potential gaps or areas where additional training will be required. This allows you to develop a targeted curriculum for different roles and individuals.

2. Select the right training model

There are different ways to approach EHR training. The right fit will depend on your team and organization structure. Here are some of the options.

  • Train-the-trainer: Develop an internal group of EHR experts to lead training sessions and provide ongoing guidance. This approach builds institutional knowledge. However, it requires significant time investment to get quality trainers.
  • Direct vendor training: Get training directly from your EHR vendor like Cerner or Epic. While it’s taught by product experts, this training covers general out-of-the-box functionality. It may not account for your specific system configuration or clinical workflows.
  • eLearning Modules: Self-paced modular courses delivered via a learning management system (LMS) provide flexibility. However, passive eLearning can lack engagement and leave gaps in hands-on, practical skills development.
  • Learning in the flow of work: Learning in the flow of work refers to the integration of learning activities and resources directly into the daily workflows of employees. Rather than having separate training sessions or dedicated learning time, this approach seamlessly embeds learning opportunities within the natural flow of employees’ work. A digital adoption platform (DAP) enables learning in the flow of work via context-sensitive in-app guidance such as walkthroughs and self-help embedded directly within the EHR interface.

3. Provide hands-on experience

One of the most effective ways to prepare your staff is by creating a simulation training environment that mirrors your actual configured EHR system’s interface and workflows. This allows nurses, physicians, and other staff to get hands-on training before using the live system. 

Tools like Whatfix Mirror make it possible to create no-risk software training environments. This creates an interactive, duplicate application environment for your end-users to learn with hands-on experiences on real workflows without impacting your company data and performance.

4. Contextualize your approach

An EHR will be used differently by nurses, technicians, and administrators. Your training approach needs to be contextualized accordingly. Provide tailored instruction and simulated scenarios showing how each user group will interact with the EHR.

5. Schedule learning opportunities

Set aside dedicated time for EHR training away from workstations. This way, staff can receive instructions without distractions or interruptions from their normal clinical responsibilities and workflows. That can help them focus.

6. Support EHR users with help on demand

Even after initial training, your staff will need continuous access to support resources and guidance while using the EHR daily. Tools like Whatfix digital adoption platform provide in-app walkthroughs, guides, and self-help resources for the users to find answers to their queries without having to raise any IT support tickets.

7. Provide upskilling resources

EHR training shouldn’t be a one-and-done event. Support continuous skill development by providing upskilling training resources to the staff. This could look like always-available training modules and video libraries. Give them avenues to pursue EHR proficiency.

8. Analyze how staff engage

Use EHR activity data and feedback tools to pinpoint areas of frustration or lack of understanding. This intelligence allows you to update training materials regularly. You can also look for ways to improve your workflows.

9. Gather feedback

Encourage a feedback loop by providing staff with avenues to directly request training on particular topics. Their voice is valuable and how you respond can make all the difference. Addressing their concerns can impact adoption.

10 EHR Training Programs & Certifications

Program Name

Description

Cost

Epic Certifications

Vendor-specific training/certification for Epic EHR users

Varies

Cerner Certifications

Certifications offered by Cerner on their EHR solutions

Varies

Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist + Medical Terminology

Comprehensive EHR training covering implementation, operations, privacy/security

$2,325

Medical Coding & Billing Specialist

Training for medical coding and billing using EHR systems

$1,869

CAHIMS – Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems

Entry-level credential for healthcare IT and EHR proficiency

$329 members / $419 non-members

HealthStream EHR Training Courses

Online courses covering EHR fundamentals to advanced skills

Individual courses $49-$299

Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS)

Training focused on EHR meaningful use requirements

$125

Medical Scribe EHR Training Program

Skills training for medical scribes working in EHR environments

$499

Nursing Informatics Certification

Technology and health system certification for nurses

$395  members / $270 non-members

EHR Go Live Support Training

Prepares staff for EHR implementation and go-live readiness

Free for students and faculty

How to Improve EHR Training With Whatfix

While comprehensive EHR training is essential, traditional approaches often fall short. They don’t provide effective, continuous learning experiences. Whatfix’s digital adoption platform (DAP) is purpose-built to augment and optimize EHR training programs.

1. Enable EHR users with in-app, role-based training

One of the biggest barriers to EHR adoption is the complexity of the system’s capabilities. Whatfix DAP allows you to build tailored, interactive training courses via in-app guidance, directly within your EHR’s interface.

whatfix-dap

2. Provide support during work

Even after initial training, staff will invariably need refreshers and assistance while working in the live EHR environment. With Whatfix, you can embed contextual self-help resources such as links, PDFs, and videos. This helps eliminate productivity disruptions and EHR workarounds.

Whatfix-DAP-Self-Help-Gif

3. Create simulated EHR training environments with Whatfix Mirror

Building proficiency on a production EHR system comes with risks like compliance violations or patient data errors during training. Whatfix Mirror enables you to generate a realistic no-risk software training sandbox environment mirroring your EHR’s configuration, data, and workflows. This enables your staff to get unlimited, risk-free practice on the software which boosts confidence and improves adoption.

Whatfix-Mirror-Capture-Screen-GIF

4. Analyze training content usage with Whatfix's guidance analytics

Insights help you identify areas where additional training or optimizations may be necessary. With Whatfix guidance analytics, you can get insights into how your training resources are being consumed. These metrics empower continuous improvement of EHR training.

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EHR Software Clicks With Whatfix

Accelerate your healthcare digital transformation efforts by enabling your employees and patients with contextual in-app guidance and constant real-time support via Whatfix digital adoption platform (DAP)

Whatfix empowers healthcare IT teams with its no-code visual editor to create in-app, moment-of-need support and contextual guidance – all inside your software applications and digital processes. This reduces time-to-proficiency and achieves new levels of productivity and proficiency through better healthcare technology adoption for all end-users.

How does it work? Whatfix empowers healthcare organizations to:

  • Create in-app flows and task lists that guide end-users step-by-step through digital processes and applications.
  • Enable all end-users with self help, providing a searchable help wiki that connects to all your help and support documentation, FAQs, help desk articles, and more – that overlays on your applications’ digital UI.
  • Notify end-users of process updates, compliance changes, team updates, and more with pop-ups and beacons.
  • Provide contextual smart tips that give end-users timely information that nudges them to take the correct in-app action.
  • Collect end-user feedback such as NPS, customer satisfaction surveys, staff training and onboarding feedback, and bug identification with in-app surveys.
  • Analyze end-user behavior with user actions and enterprise insights by tracking custom in-app events to optimize user journeys, segment users into cohorts, identify areas of friction, and more.

With Whatfix, you can understand how your healthcare technology is used and under-adopted by your employees and citizens. This makes it easier to adjust software onboarding, training, support, and overall end-user adoption strategies—all to provide a seamless experience for every end-user that enables them with the right context and support to utilize new technologies and systems fully.

Intrigued to learn more about Whatfix, click here to schedule a free demo with us today!

What Is Whatfix?
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides organizations with a no-code editor to create in-app guidance on any application that looks 100% native. With Whatfix, create interactive walkthroughs, product tours, task lists, smart tips, field validation, self-help wikis, hotspots, and more. Understand how users are engaging with your applications with advanced product analytics.
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Software Clicks With Whatfix
Whatfix's digital adoption platform empowers your employees, customers, and end-users with in-app guidance, reinforcement learning, and contextual self-help support to find maximum value from software.

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