Perhaps you plan to involve your staff in the early stages of your software-vetting process—or while you’re implementing these great strategies for making the switch seamless. And that’s fantastic. However, it’s absolutely imperative that you include them once EMR software training rolls around. It’s simply the best way to ensure your team is comfortable and confident using the system once it’s go-time. Otherwise, you risk reduced productivity and employee happiness—both of which are bad for business. With that in mind, here are several things you can do to create a solid training program for your new system:
1. Use available resources.
If you select a stellar software company, you’ll undoubtedly receive a plethora of exceptional onboarding, training, and implementation resources—all designed to help you and your team get up and running on your new system quickly. So, take advantage of what you’ve got. And while we’re on the topic of resources, it’s also crucial that you develop a positive working relationship with your company representatives. After all, it’s their job to help you be successful.
2. Cultivate leaders.
Switching software systems can be a daunting task, and you’re going to need backup in the form of team leaders who can effectively communicate during times of change. That’s not always an easy thing to do—which means you may need to put on your coaching hat and pull some leadership training resources out of your sleeves. No matter what goes down, though, be sure you remain open and honest in your own communications. As we explained in this guide, “The last thing you need during a transitional period are rumors and misunderstandings.”
3. Remember, you’re training adults—not children.
- they understand the importance of what they’re learning;
- they have the freedom to learn in their own way;
- their learning is experiential; and
- the learning process is positive and encouraging.
On that note, you’d be wise to tailor your curriculum and learning environment to address the needs of adult learners—and part of that means avoiding training staff on features and functionality irrelevant to their job roles. It also means asking for feedback, so you can adjust your approach if necessary.
4. Stay positive, patient, and flexible.
As a leader, it’s always a good idea to remain positive about impending changes. After all, your staff will be looking to you for direction on how to respond. Some may even resist change simply because it’s change—and that’s where your positivity, patience, and flexibility can make a big difference. In other words, model the behavior you’d like your staff to adopt. Want to improve buy-in from your team even more? Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa, suggests answering the “what’s in it for me?” question for everyone on your team. That way, they’ll know how this new system will directly improve their work lives.
5. Take your time.
While you may be feeling the pressure to get up and running on your new EMR quickly, be sure to take the time you—and your team—need to become proficient with the new software before it’s back to business as usual. Depending on how quickly your team gets comfortable with the new software, it may be helpful to add in some buffer time between patients. That way, as everyone’s learning, your therapists will have a few more minutes to finish their documentation on the spot—instead of waiting until after-hours or rushing through it.
6. Cheer for your team.
Once your new system is up and running, you can begin measuring its impact. For example, you could determine:
- how much time you and your therapists save on documentation;
- how many more referrals you generate now that your notes are professionally branded with your clinic’s logo;
- how much more money you collect because your claims are cleaner; and
- how your patients are progressing in their treatment—and how satisfied they are—if your new software offers integrated outcomes tracking.
No matter what you decide to measure, though, make it a point to find reasons to cheer for your team’s successes. Not only will you be creating a more positive, engaged work environment, but you’ll also reinforce the fact that your new software system is worth its weight in gold.
There’s no way to predict everything that’ll come down the pike while you’re training your staff on your new software system, but you can arm yourself with great resources to help you along the way—resources like today’s post and this free guide: Switching Software is Easier than You Think: The PTs Guide to Implementation and Training. Download your copy now.