What You Should Know:
- A new report by KLAS delves into many of the questions posed to clinicians in the Arch Collaborative’s User Experience and Trainer Quality Benchmark surveys to help further demystify the specific characteristics of EHR education that led to clinician success with the EHR.
- The report also provides guidance on how organizations can generate clinician enthusiasm around EHR training to better help them thrive in their EHR environment. Unless specifically stated, all findings relate to both initial and ongoing training.
Understanding and Exploring the Best Practices for Effective EHR Education
Key recommendations and ideas employed by best practices are as follows:
- Use the Training Method Best Suited for the Message: The effectiveness of training methods varies depending on the circumstances, and it is crucial for organizations to select realistic and scalable training approaches for both initial and ongoing training needs. Among clinicians, at-the-elbow training is commonly regarded as useful. However, due to the considerable time and resources required to consistently provide such training across an entire organization, careful consideration should be given to determine which content is best suited for at-the-elbow training and which content can be effectively taught using alternative methods. Notably, clinicians predominantly receive electronic health record (EHR) training through classroom sessions, which aligns with its scalability. The Trainer Quality Benchmark survey data suggests that self-directed eLearning offers significant time savings for clinicians, making it a cost-effective option. Individual eLearning sessions typically have durations of less than 60 minutes, compared to the typical 3–8-hour duration of classroom training sessions. For every 15 minutes of eLearning, clinicians who engage in self-directed learning report saving an average of 20–25 minutes per week in EHR usage, illustrating the value of self-directed eLearning in effectively conveying simple and concise information that enhances clinician efficiency.
- Clinicians Need More EHR Training, Whether They Realize It or Not: A substantial portion (46%) of clinicians who participated in the Arch Collaborative survey express that they do not perceive a need for further ongoing training on electronic health record (EHR) systems. However, their reported EHR satisfaction levels do not significantly differ from their peers who desire additional training, as indicated by the Net EHR Experience Score (NEES), with a minimal delta of approximately 6 points on a scale ranging from -100 to 100. In order to design ongoing EHR training programs that yield tangible benefits for clinicians, the following approaches can be adopted:
- Shift the narrative towards EHR mastery: Among clinicians who are content with their current level of training, a prevailing sentiment is their perceived proficiency with the EHR system. This perception is supported by their average NEES scores. However, it is essential to recognize that even proficient clinicians may have areas where improvement is needed. Thus, the objective should be EHR mastery rather than merely general proficiency.
- Engage dissatisfied clinicians in the improvement process: Clinicians who express dissatisfaction with previous training experiences present a noteworthy concern due to their lower average NEES scores. These individuals may exhibit reluctance to participate in further training opportunities. However, organizations can learn from the success of OrthoVirginia, which involved dissatisfied clinicians in enhancing the training experience for their colleagues.
- Highlight demonstrable time savings: Emphasizing the potential time-saving advantages of additional training can motivate clinicians to prioritize their training endeavors. This can be accomplished by sharing data on time savings gathered from post-training surveys, such as the Collaborative’s Trainer Quality Benchmark, as well as year-over-year EHR experience data from the Collaborative’s standard User Experience survey. Additionally, data from pre/post surveys conducted during the implementation of new initiatives or clinician usage data provided by the EHR vendor can also be leveraged to underscore the benefits of training.
3. Workflow-Specific Training Is Linked to Higher EHR Satisfaction: Agreement that initial or ongoing training is workflow specific is correlated with higher satisfaction in some hard-to-improve metrics, including the EHR’s efficiency, functionality, internal integration, external integration, and ease of learning. In fact, across the Collaborative, external integration, efficiency, and ease of learning are the three NEES metrics with the lowest satisfaction. However, teaching clinicians to use information from the EHR within their workflow might be as important as working to improve the EHR itself. Clinicians who report that training is workflow specific are also less likely to report burnout and less likely to report plans to leave their organization. Higher satisfaction with personalization training is also correlated with a higher overall NEES.
4. Clinicians Need Just 3–5 Hours of Quality Ongoing Training Each Year: Many clinicians claim that training takes too much time, but it doesn’t have to. Just 3–5 hours of follow-up training per year correlates with a higher NEES than 2 hours or less. This holds across all clinical backgrounds. The length of individual training sessions does not need to be excessive either. Responses from the Trainer Quality Benchmark survey indicate that satisfaction with training does not increase as training length increases beyond 30–60 minutes. Keep ongoing training manageable and demonstrate the value of investing time into training.