Saturday, September 23, 2006

So why is the LMS such a big deal?

As of October 1, our entire organization is going to be using an Electronic Health Record called TouchWorks. We no longer have paper charts.

The next upgrade of TouchWorks (v.11) contains a MAJOR user interface change. Essentially, it is a brand new program.

If we do not get the 250 attendings, 300 residents, 100 med students and 2,000 support staff trained correctly- the practice will be PARALYZED!!!!

Legitimately, we only have a 2 week window to train everyone. Anything more than that and, guaranteed, they will forget.

Of course, no one if going to play with the test system if they don't have to....

Since last year - we are now supporting computers and staff not only at our outpatient clinic, but also at the hospital and 5 remote locations around the DC Metro area. This makes it even MORE difficult to get people into the classroom.

There is one classroom with twelve computers and 5 people who can train on this program. 3 of whom (Marcela, Diana, and myself) also need to do the configuration, testing, and user-setup of the program. The other 2 have to continue to perform their primary jobs during this process. Unless we do training 24/7 in 1 hour shifts and ensure that the right people are in each classroom, it just ain't gonna happen.

You can see where I'm going with this.

You can also see why I am rushing to get this LMS in place. This is going to be the ONLY way we are going to be able to do a successful upgrade.

People who can't get into the classroom or prefer to learn on their own time will have that option. People who want face-to-face handholding will get that. It's all about CHOICE.

I'll know more about the strategy once I get the new version in our systems. Here is my current thinking:

- As soon as we get the upgrade into the test systems - 1 week of figuring out how the upgrade works and some initial configuration.

- Build an introductory movie to post on the LMS/Intranet. "The marketing piece." I have 1 week to build this and get it posted.

- In parallel - build upgrade documentation. Post as draft and make changes as the configuration is finalized.

- Once we have something resembling a final configuration, start holding Town Meetings at one of the university lecture halls- led by the Applications Team (probably me, since I am the only person in the group who has lecture hall experience). The CEO has been very supportive with these projects, so he will probably be there. The face to face question/answer stuff.

- Build upgrade tutorials with testing once each piece of the final configuration is finished.

- Train-the-trainer sessions (we have departmental champions of various strengths in our organization). This needs to start at least 3-4 weeks from go-live. We are going to encourage them to hold training themselves during the departmental meetings (I'm personally hoping for some sort of enforcement). We also need these people because IT will not be able to address the "how do I" questions immediately after the upgrade. We will be spending our time troubleshooting computers.

- Classroom training availability - in parallel with the LMS -during the 2 weeks before go-live. For those who would rather do this in a classroom setting with the IT staff. More general "how-tos". I'm hoping that this will only be a supplement to the departmental trainings. But that's being REALLY optimistic.

If we build the LMS tracking right, we can see who did what and how successful each approach was.

I'm currently hearing mutterings of "60 days" and "90 days" for the entire process. With the scope of the changes I've seen thus far on both the front and the back end, I think that is incredibly unrealistic. But that is not my call...

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