Friday, January 26, 2007

Piloting Clinician Training

I just finished doing the first pilot of a part of the training for the new upgrade with our Internal Medicine Pilot Clinician's Group.

Considering that the software is not entirely finished and a touch buggy + I am still not entirely familiar with its inner workings - it went well.

Our group has been challenged to show the attending physicians how to use the new version of our Electronic Medical Record in no more than 90 minutes.

I informed the group that I was doing a time check - can I get through the material listed in about 45 minutes. Understand that there is still 15 - 30 minutes worth of material that I couldn't touch since the system is not fully configured and workflows have not been established. I wanted their opinion of how they felt after the training and if they felt comfortable enough to go into the clinic and work afterwards.

I informed the group that if the group felt comfortable at the end of the session, I would check for retention the next week using the same worksheet.

The setup:
- I go through as much of the training as possible. Some docs are on computers, some are not. I am given a 30 minute time check and a 45 minute time check. I stop where I am at when 45 minutes is called. This included all questions, keeping the cats (MDs) herded, and working through a worksheet that I tried to design to mimick their workflow.

Results: I got through the material in time and most everyone was on pace.

When I asked the docs how they felt after time was called - the 2 most tech-savvy docs in the organization both looked at me and said "There is absolutely NO WAY we can learn this in 1.5 hours." The rest of the crew nodded in agreement.

1 of the 2 tech-savvy docs said "I have seen this thing 3 times already and I am just now beginning to put my head around it. If this group is having problems, I can't imagine what will happen with the other docs." He is absolutely right. The group I used for this test have been on the product the longest and represent the most sophisticated users of our electronic medical record.

The doctors' recommendations:
- We really ought to have an MD team teach the attending provider training with the trainers. (I am SO HAPPY they recommended this approach themselves. I hope my surprise didn't show.) Their only caveat: the organization needs to take that trainer's time out of their clinical time and NOT their free time.

- The training really needs to be split into (at least) 2 sessions. An Intro session and a Work session. The Intro session will cover basic navigation and go through a basic patient visit. The Work session will address administrative workflows and more details on how to do particular things - based on the needs of the providers in the room.

- We need to start getting ALL of the docs looking at this product NOW. Not just a select group.

It is incredibly heartening to see our docs FINALLY start taking responsibility for our Electronic Medical Record rather than seeing it just as an "IT thing."

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