Monday, December 04, 2017
by Alan Wesley
BJC | Provider training in the use of Epic, the new electronic health record, is extensive and ongoing. BJC and Washington University team members have committed many hours to learn about Epic’s capabilities and pass that knowledge on to others.
Michael Chen, MD, ob/gyn on staff at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, is one of those people. Dr. Chen went through nearly three months of training to become an Epic provider educator. He made that commitment for two reasons: “First, change is coming and it’s better to embrace Epic than put it off,” says Dr. Chen. “The training helped me because I knew I would be using it. Second, it gave me the opportunity to help other providers learn it as well.”
Provider educators use their additional knowledge and medical experience in the “Specialists Training Specialists” program to train other providers with similar specialties. The idea is to teach Epic functionality from the real-world perspective of a colleague — someone who understands the providers’ workflows and the pressures they work under.
Psychiatrist Rachel Morel, DO, a provider educator, explains that the four-hour Epic class includes basic instructions, as well as information tailored to a provider’s specialty. “We talk about how to use Epic to admit, transfer and discharge a patient,” she says. “We’re not teaching them how to be doctors — we help them learn how to use the system.”
Dr. Chen, who instructs ob/gyns, compares it to teaching someone how to drive a car. “When you’re learning to drive, you find out what the steering wheel does, and what the pedals on the floorboard control,” he says. “It’s knowing where things are and what to do — like logging on or pulling up a patient history. You need to be able to find the information without wasting a lot of time.”
He adds that each specialty has unique challenges. “So, if you’ve learned the basic functions of a car, you still might not know how to drive in rainy weather,” he says. “That’s a situation you’re likely to encounter while driving — just as each specialty will have situations they encounter in their practices while using Epic. So, I’m like the person who has driven in the rain. I can give you some tips on how to do that well.”
Epic personalization labs
Epic personalization labs are about the power of efficiency. The labs train providers to better use Epic by selecting how they organize information and retrieve it.
Providers can personalize templates for their notes and a group of related orders called order sets created by Epic analysts, which can be placed with a few keystrokes or mouse clicks. They can also group frequently used orders in preference lists, set up SmartPhrases that eliminate rekeying frequently entered information, retrieve a sequence of commands with a single command or key stroke, and customize their toolbars.
In short, personalization provides organized information that doesn’t have to be re-entered, is consistent in its content, and is easily accessible per the provider’s preferences.
Personalization labs last two hours, with many providers returning multiple times to complete personalization in Epic. And, according to Latoya Woods, FNP-C, BJC Medical Group, the training is also personalized. “I loved the attention and instruction that the lab provided,” she says. “The facilitator was knowledgeable and able to recommend many shortcuts that helped me.”
Providers begin to ‘Thrive’ in Epic
What if you could organize your life so that you had instant access to all the information you needed whenever you needed it? That’s the idea behind Thrive After Go-Live training, the Epic program that offers an efficient system, individually adaptable to each provider who uses it.
Thrive training begins three to four months after an Epic Go-Live. It is an extension and advancement of the training providers receive during personalization labs, where they begin to set up some of their personal preferences for entering data.
With Thrive, providers can create shortcuts called macros that generate detailed onscreen information with a single command or keystroke. According to Thrive ambulatory principal trainers Melissa Garcia and Shari Ganyo, a patient history can be generated that includes details like the medication used to previously treat a patient and specifics down to the size of the needle gauge for an injection.
Onscreen filters and speed buttons can quickly zero in on this specific information. “You can look at a patient’s history many different ways,” says Garcia. “If you just want to see the contacts the patient has had with family care physicians, you can do that. Or you can see their entire history.”
Ganyo notes that physicians can clear up the clutter in their schedules using Thrive. “It just makes it easier to see what they need to see,” she says. “There are so many little things that add up in the system. We had one physician who immediately saw its value. She said, ‘Wow! You just saved me four hours a day!’”
Other resources include items like contact information for other providers and the ability to set up toolbars based upon individual preference.
The training for ambulatory physicians takes about two hours. Ganyo and Garcia are traveling to physician offices and clinics to provide one-on-one instruction and assistance in setting up the program. They have already trained more than 100 providers.
For them the best part is the “Aha! moment,” when providers realize the value of Thrive.
According to Thrive inpatient principal trainer Angela McFarlin, all providers receiving Thrive training at Boone Hospital Center said the class was useful for meeting challenges they’ve encountered. Below are some additional comments:
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12/5/2017 4:45 PM
Thrive Training for Boone Hospital Home Care & Hospice would be very helpful.