If you’ve found the right EMR for your clinic, chances are you’ve “been there, done that” (although you probably didn’t get the t-shirt). You’ve cycled through research, demos, phone calls, and more research—all to ensure you make the best possible choice. But the decision-making process is only the beginning; the second challenge is getting your staff on board. Implementing a new EMR system might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep these five tips in mind when you are training your therapists to document electronically.

1. Pick Superhero Super Users

Identify technologically-savvy, motivated, and eager-to-learn staff members; then, give them the power to save the day by designating them as super users. When it comes to your EMR, you want these users to not only know the system, but also have a deep understanding of how your clinic operates. After all, possessing EMR expertise is useless if that expert can’t apply his or her know-how to your practice’s workflow.

Your super users should be able to teach techniques and tips to new staff members and offer refreshers to those who aren’t yet totally comfortable with the software. A word of warning: Be cognizant of the workload you impose on your staff. You still want the super users to see patients and accomplish everyday tasks. If a super user is buckling under the pressure—or if the added responsibility takes too much time out of his or her schedule—you might need to reconsider the current structure and redistribute responsibilities across a larger group of users.

2. Take Advantage of the Plan

Ask your EMR company what the training process entails. Do they offer group or one-on-one training sessions? Do they have steps in place to ensure that your EMR onboarding is a success? Be sure to use everything your vendor has to offer.

If you’re afraid your staff might zone-out during a live training, try to make it fun. Bring coffee and snacks (I don’t know about you, but I love food and caffeine) and encourage questions. Make sure you’ve allotted enough time and created a welcoming environment for you and your staff to learn the new system. This is a big change, and you took your time choosing the EMR—so demonstrate the same level of patience during the implementation process.

Pinpointing your therapists’ preferred learning style could make or break the training process. Do they want to learn from your other staff members (cue superhero super users)? Or would a live group training session be a better option? Do they need the flexibility to watch a video on their own time, after office hours?

Also, keep in mind that your staff may need refreshers every now and then. That’s precisely why WebPT implemented a learning management system that users can access at any stage of their WebPT Membership. There, you can learn about the WebPT application at any time of day—on any device—and review different functions within the EMR. You can even take quizzes to test your skills.

3. Ask for Feedback

If you don’t know where your staff is getting stuck, you can’t help them master the concepts that are tripping them up. Ask for feedback so you can adjust your approach if necessary. If a member of your staff is having trouble booking an appointment, finalizing notes, or navigating the system, give him or her the opportunity to ask for help. Set up recurring meetings to review the challenges your staff faces while using the EMR. If your clinic is far too swamped for recurring group meetings, speak with your staff one-on-one.

Once you discover the pain points, try your best to come up with a solution to foster success.

Does your EMR vendor have a support line? If so, gather your questions and give them a call.

4. Train for Function

Try to avoid training your therapists on skills that are irrelevant to their job roles. Your therapists will primarily need documentation training. However, if they manage their own schedules, they’ll probably need some instruction on the scheduling portion of the software as well.

If your front office staff isn’t treating patients, you don’t need to overburden them with learning the ins and outs of documentation. You know your clinic’s operations better than your EMR vendor does—so plan your training accordingly.

5. Stay Flexible

One training plan to rule them all isn’t going to cut it. To be on the forefront of compliance, both you and your EMR system have to adjust to regulatory changes. These adjustments might require process changes, or they might involve a little bit of self-education for you and your therapists.

If you’re a WebPT Member, you’ll see everything you need to know about system updates right on your WebPT Dashboard. This is the perfect mechanism for your superhero super users to review any new changes and help the rest of the team get up to speed on what’s new in the application. (Another way to stay at the forefront of regulatory changes: the WebPT Blog.) If your job depends on ever-evolving technology, you can’t let yourself (or your team) get rusty.


Your EMR should make documentation easy, and as a clinic owner or operator, you have the power to make EMR adoption easier on your staff. Be prepared, make a plan, and be willing to change that plan as regulations shift. Because when it comes to EMR training, the “how” is just as important—if not more important—than the “what.”

Do you have any tried-and-true training tips? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ditch the Donuts: Referral Marketing Strategies that Actually Work - Regular BannerDitch the Donuts: Referral Marketing Strategies that Actually Work - Small Banner
  • What Happens if Your Physical Therapy Software Goes Out of Business? Image

    articleJul 15, 2016 | 7 min. read

    What Happens if Your Physical Therapy Software Goes Out of Business?

    You’ve most likely heard the news: PTOS is going out of business. That means that in a few short months, PTOS customers will be left without a physical therapy practice management and billing software solution, so they’ve got to find new systems—stat . After all, no one wants to lose all of their valuable patient and business data—nor do they want to wait until the last minute to find a replacement. Shopping for a PTOS alternative, partnering with …

  • ICD-10 Open Forum Image

    webinarOct 5, 2015

    ICD-10 Open Forum

    On October 1, the US officially said RIP to ICD-9 and brought ICD-10 to life. For some of you, the transition might’ve been all sugar and spice—a real treat. But for many others, the switch to the new code set might’ve left you feeling overwhelmed, tricked, or even a bit scared. At the very least, you might be haunted by some lingering questions. That’s where we can help. We’ve brewed a cauldron filled to the brim with …

  • The State of Rehab Therapy in 2017 Image

    webinarJun 5, 2017

    The State of Rehab Therapy in 2017

    WebPT recently conducted an industry survey of thousands of rehab therapy professionals across a wide variety of settings, specialties, and geographic regions. Our goal: To capture an accurate snapshot of the demographics, trends, frustrations, and motivations that shape our businesses, our future outlook, and our potential for success in this environment of change. In our July webinar, WebPT president and co-founder Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, and WebPT CEO Nancy Ham will share and analyze the …

  • The State of Rehab Therapy Image

    downloadJul 14, 2017

    The State of Rehab Therapy

    To see results from our most recent industry survey, check out the 2019 State of Rehab Therapy Report. Health care is not a static industry. It’s always changing, evolving, and progressing. No healthcare provider is immune to the effects of that change, but some—including physical, occupational, and speech therapists—have felt a greater impact than others. In an effort to assess the scope of that impact—and thus, better anticipate the future needs of the rehab therapy community—WebPT conducted …

  • ICD-10 Crash Course: Last-Minute Training for PTs, OTs, and SLPs Image

    webinarSep 2, 2015

    ICD-10 Crash Course: Last-Minute Training for PTs, OTs, and SLPs

    It’s officially here: the last month before all HIPAA-eligible professionals must switch to the ICD-10 code set. As the regret of procrastination washes over many of those professionals, they’re scrambling to ready themselves and their practices for the big switch. If you, like so many other rehab therapists, find yourself asking, “ICD-what?” then you’re in dire need of straightforward training—stat! Otherwise, you could leave your practice vulnerable to claim denials after October 1. Join us at 9:00 …

  • The Ultimate ICD-10 FAQ: Part Deux Image

    articleSep 24, 2015 | 16 min. read

    The Ultimate ICD-10 FAQ: Part Deux

    Just when we thought we’d gotten every ICD-10 question under the sun, we got, well, more questions. Like, a lot more. But, we take that as a good sign, because like a scrappy reporter trying to get to the bottom of a big story, our audience of blog readers and webinar attendees aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions—which means they’re serious about preparing themselves for the changes ahead. And we’re equally serious about providing them with …

  • The State of Interoperability in Outpatient Rehab Therapy  Image

    articleJan 2, 2017 | 6 min. read

    The State of Interoperability in Outpatient Rehab Therapy

    We’ve been talking about the importance of interoperability in health care for a while now—in articles like this one , this one , and this one . And while the idea of open, seamless data exchange among healthcare systems and providers always seemed like a great thing to have, it’s quickly becoming much more of a must-have. That’s because a collaborative-care, pay-for-performance healthcare model requires that providers from all disciplines actually communicate with one another in real-time …

  • The Dynamic Trio: EMR, RCM, and You Image

    articleApr 22, 2015 | 4 min. read

    The Dynamic Trio: EMR, RCM, and You

    If you’re currently shopping for physical therapy software, you’ve most likely seen a myriad of initialisms. But what does all that alphabet soup mean? Well, in the physical therapy industry, clinics primarily rely on two software solutions to do business: EMR, which provides documentation and scheduling. Revenue cycle management (RCM), which handles accounts receivable (AR) and payable (AP). EMR and RCM are the two initialisms you’ll see most as you shop around for your software. Sometimes, you’ll …

  • Defensible Documentation Toolkit Image

    downloadNov 20, 2018

    Defensible Documentation Toolkit

    Is your documentation defensible enough to withstand scrutiny? Documentation is no one’s favorite, especially as increasing rules and regulations make it even harder to ensure your documentation is complete enough to withstand scrutiny. But, while documentation may not be the most-liked aspect of your job as a rehab therapist, it surely is a crucial one—for you and your patients. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive Defensible Documentation Toolkit—complete with 10 must-know defensible documentation tips, example notes, and …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.