Healthcare News & Insights

5 keys for EHR training

A new report shows to what extent training can affect how satisfied doctors are with their practice’s electronic health record (EHR) system – which in turn can affect whether the system is used effectively.

That’s the message from a study conducted by AmericanEHR Partners, which looked at EHR satisfaction rates and what kinds of training doctors receive before using those systems.

Of the 2,300 doctors surveyed, the highest levels of satisfaction were reported by those who received either three to five days of training, or more than two weeks. Doctors who weren’t trained at all were the least satisfied, by a significant margin.

However, nearly half (49.3%) of respondents said they received three or fewer days of training. The most common training lasted one to three days, reported by 45% of doctors, and 4.3% had no training.

Just 14.6% got more than two weeks of training, and that group reported the highest levels of satisfaction with the EHR system.

The amount of training doctors receive and their associated satisfaction levels can have big implications for practices seeking federal incentive funds for their EHR implementations.

According to AmericanEHR Partners’ report, increased training time improved doctors’ ability to use several EHR functions neceassry to meet Meaningful Use requirements. The highest ease-of-use in those areas was reported by doctors who had received more than two weeks of training.

In addition to spending more time on EHR training for doctors, practices can also improve their EHR training by remembering these keys:

  1. Before training sessions begin, determine what experience, if any, doctors already have with EHR systems or similar software so training can be tailored accordingly.
  2. Get trainees up-to-speed on basic computer skills before EHR training begins, if necessary.
  3. Make sure doctors understand how the training will benefit them — i.e., knowing how to use EHRs properly will improve their ability to care for patients.
  4. Don’t train too soon — practices should avoid having a long gap between when doctors are taught how to use the EMR system and when the system actually goes live.
  5. Only offer doctors training relevant to them. Doctors, administrative staff, and other user groups all need to use different aspects of the system. Covering unnecessary features during training for any of those groups will only make things confusing.

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