If your medical staff struggles to get physicians to come to EMR meetings, you may consider paying them, moving the meetings to a more convenient time, and/or providing food if the meeting coincides with a meal time, says Brian J. Cammarata, MD, medical director of informatics at Old Pueblo Anesthesia, which partners with TMC. On occasion, Old Pueblo Anesthesia paid its physicians an hourly rate to attend these meetings. "It doesn't approach what they would otherwise earn providing clinical care, but it is an incentive," Cammarata says.
Physician leaders who are engaged in the EMR design and implementation process can help prepare other physicians for the upcoming changes. "We were able to have a fairly substantial group of physicians who went out and could sell it [to other medical staff members] and speak to it with great intelligence because they had participated since the very beginning," says Warren.
When designing a training program to help providers learn EMR, hospitals must take into consideration that some physicians have never sat in front of a computer before, while others consider writing code for their own software programs a hobby.
Medical staffs should provide physicians who have little to no computer skills personalized training before the medical staff rolls out organizationwide training for EMR. If the medical staff fails to do this, these physicians may become frustrated and opt to practice at another hospital that does not have EMR.
"We made the medical staff office a safe place to come and admit what you don't know," says Warren. "We had people available to teach them computer basics on a one-on-one basis in a private room where they could ask whatever they wanted and no one would get mad or laugh. As long as they were honest with us, we could help them."