In addition to improving the quality and safety of health care, electronic health record (EHR) technology can help reduce health care costs and improve productivity. However, EHRs are robust, complex systems and behavioral health professionals face a variety of barriers that prevent successful adoption. In this article, we’ll discuss each of these challenges and the role EHR training can play in overcoming them.
Common Behavioral Health EHR Challenges
Clinical decision support based on EHR data analysis can improve patient outcomes in several ways. First, through diagnostics support and patient-facing decision support, organizations can discover problems earlier — such as potential relapses — and act more quickly.
Another way clinical decision support improves outcomes is by improving safety through the reduction of medication and prescribing errors. Despite these opportunities, EHR adoption is still relatively low in behavioral health and human services. As a result, behavioral health patients are disproportionately affected since they cannot take advantage of a fully integrated health system.
Research reveals that there are several barriers that limit the successful adoption of EHR technology in behavioral health. However, these can be overcome when you partner with the right solutions provider.
Lack of IT Resources
Small and mid-sized behavioral health providers are often more likely to delay implementing EHRs due to the expense of building a technical team and purchasing hardware. However, there are alternatives to such time-consuming, expensive options.
For instance, ContinuumCloud’s EHR is cloud-based, which means there is no hardware to purchase, maintain, or store. Intuitive design and customized high-touch training make using the EHR simple for everyone.
Lack of Functionality and Usability
Poor usability of an EHR is regarded as a significant challenge by many clinicians, according to a report by Dr. Alan Weiss of BayCare Health System in Florida. He found that by helping his team refine and reconfigure the core features of their EHR system, they cut down on the overwhelming number of notifications and alerts, thereby improving usability.
The goals of an EHR system should be to eliminate avoidable clinical errors, reduce clinician burnout, and improve patient outcomes. EHR training helps providers become familiar with the features and functionality of the EHR system. After training, clinicians feel more confident using core features and advanced tools like report templates and order sets.
ContinuumCloud’s support and training teams can help you smoothly acclimate to your new system. During onboarding, we will work with your team to tailor the EHR platform to suit your unique requirements and workflow needs. We’ll teach you how to configure the most important features of your EHR so that it’s usable and not overwhelming. During training, you’ll also learn about vetted third-party integrations designed to make your job easier.
Lack of Efficiency
Several studies indicate that clinicians may face higher burnout rates due to inefficient electronic health records, citing excessive administrative demands.
Comprehensive EHR training can increase clinician satisfaction. In addition to a comprehensive training program during implementation, ContinuumCloud offers ongoing training at regular intervals thereafter. This process is key to maximizing efficiency and reducing burnout.
Lack of User Confidence
It can be daunting to learn new technologies. When clinicians don’t feel confident in their ability to master new technology, they may stick with outdated legacy systems that no longer meet their needs.
While ContinuumCloud’s trainers have a deep understanding of health IT, you don't have to worry about being confused by technical jargon. Using clear, easy-to-understand, and actionable content, our trainers can explain complex technical concepts to non-technical professionals. Moreover, ContinuumCloud provides a secure and streamlined mobile workforce management solution for your remote and hybrid team members.
Tips for Developing an EHR Training Plan
A written plan can help you identify potential challenges, including those that might delay progress. Training plans for EHR software should outline specific topics that will be covered during each training session.
Keep in mind that clinicians and administrative employees will need specific training based on their jobs. If you work with a vendor like ContinuumCloud, your EHR training program is included. However, if you are developing your own plan, these tips can help you get started.
Get Buy-In Early
Engage your team from the beginning when shopping for a new EHR. Make a wishlist of the features and functions your workforce would like to see included in their EHR. Discuss their expectations regarding the training process. Have them self-assess their computer skills and technical proficiency. Also, be sure to create a timeline and training schedule that includes key dates in the EHR implementation process.
Enlist “Super Users” to Help Train Staff
Staff members with advanced training can be tapped to share hints, tips, and techniques about using electronic health records. As peers and co-workers, “super users” have built-in clout, so involve your super users in the creation of training resources. If you have trouble recruiting super users, consider using rewards and recognition.
Use Micro-Learning Techniques
Micro-learning, also called micro-training, is a project management approach that involves breaking complex learning modules into short-form content like quizzes and checklists. You can also use micro-learning techniques to address skill gaps with content like short videos.
What Types of EHR Training Does ContinuumCloud Offer?
Because learning styles vary, ContinuumCloud's trainers create and deliver a variety of training materials, such as slide decks, videos, webinars, and live (remote) training sessions. Here are just a few examples of what you can expect with the ContinuumCloud experience.
Pre-Implementation and Planning
Trainers will assess your team's training needs and skills during the pre-implementation phase. After that, they will develop training documentation, plans, tracks, and outlines that are specific to your needs.
Because workflow and operational requirements for behavioral health offices vary, we use this opportunity to learn about you, how your team works, and who you serve. During the planning phase, we'll work together to identify your organizational goals and learn about the tools, features, and integrations you need to succeed.
Our project team works with you to develop an onboarding and training program so that your employees are ready for launch once the system is fully functional. During onboarding, your team will learn to use the core features of ContinuumCloud’s EHR plus any workflow integrations they will use. After onboarding, we will work closely with your project team after launch to ensure a seamless transition to our ongoing support team.
Post-Implementation EHR Training
Comprehensive and ongoing training is a critical part of successful health information technology adoption. Post-implementation training usually focuses on support for individual users in their day-to-day activities.
ContinuumCloud also provides refresher training and optimization assistance whenever you need it or as new features and upgrades are developed. How-to articles, webinars, and other training resources are also available 24/7 so you can access them at your convenience. When you choose ContinuumCloud you not only get an EHR vendor, but you also get a technology partner committed to your success.
Should you encounter any problems, our high-touch support team is always available through our secure Support Ticketing System, which is accessible all day and night through our website.
Connect With ContinuumCloud to Learn More About Our World-Class EHR Training
ContinuumCloud specializes in behavioral health, human services, and substance use recovery technology and software. We believe an EHR system should support the important work you do, not make it harder.
Our EHR solution is intuitive and easy to use. We provide comprehensive training designed to get you up to speed faster and remove many of the barriers that may have been holding you back. To learn more about EHR training, contact us today and connect with one of our behavioral health IT specialists.