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It’s not uncommon for electronic health record (EHR) software implementation to be met with some resistance. After all, transitioning from a paper-based environment to one reliant on an electronic system can be daunting for physicians, nurses and other staff. Converting to an EHR doesn’t have to be something a practice dreads, however. With proper training, staff can learn even the most complicated systems.

Training isn’t just helpful—research has shown that it’s essential to the implementation process. It can help practices avoid setbacks, errors, employee turnover and other general frustrations while facilitating a smooth transition from paper to an electronic system. Without it, meaningful use of EHR technology simply isn’t possible.

Here, we’ve put together five effective EHR training tips to get staff in your practice adequately trained and comfortable on a new system:

1. Identify Employee Computer Skills and Provide Basic Training.

This is important for practices where existing clinical processes are largely paper-based and computer use is minimal. It may not be as necessary for those already using practice management software or other health technologies.

If your employees aren’t used to performing complex tasks on a computer, now is the time to find out. Your front desk staff might currently be scanning and printing insurance cards to attach to each patient’s paper chart, but do they know how to save those scanned documents? What about attaching those files to the patient’s EHR chart?

To determine each employee’s level of computer proficiency, you can use one of the many computer skills exams available online. There’s this free basic test from Independence University. If you have a good idea of the computer skills your staff will need to know come EHR implementation time, you can also create your own assessment test using a resource like ProProfs Quiz Maker.

Once you’ve identified employees in need of basic computer training, you’ll need to get them up to speed. If your budget allows, you can pay for classes at a local community college or hire someone to provide computer instruction to staff once or twice a week. There are also free resources available online to help people learn computer basics from organizations such as the Goodwill Community Foundation.

Providing adequate computer training can make the transition process easier for users wary of change and will ensure that your entire team is ready to go when the EHR arrives.

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