On the flip side of the coin, it is important not to excuse physicians with extensive computer experience from the EMR training, says Warren. Although a physician may be a computer whiz, EMRs are customized to each hospital's needs, and physicians must become familiar with all of the specific bells and whistles. "We made the same number of educational hours the same for everyone," she says.
At St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA, one of 14 hospitals in the Bon Secours system, physicians trained in different tracks according to their typical patient volume, says Brian Fillipo, MD, vice president of medical affairs. For example, high admitters received the most training and support; occasional consultants received a level of training that was conducive to their volume. "The number of courses they do online and in person varies according to the type of privileges you have the type of patients you take care of," says Fillipo.
Both TMC and Bon Secours required all physician and non-physician providers to be trained within 12 weeks of using the EMR on the job. If a provider does not use the EMR within 12 weeks after being trained, he or she must redo all or part of the training. The software is complex, and providers may forget what they learned during their training if too much time lapses.
Superusers are individuals who are well-versed in implementing and using EMR. These individuals may be from your own medical staff, from nearby hospitals that have already implemented EMR, and/or from the EMR software company. Your organization will likely need to pay these individuals, especially if they are taking time away from their independent practices.