Train and educate
Lewis recommends assessing nurses’ computer skills and bringing their competencies, such as keyboard skills, up to standard before starting them on job-required electronic devices. Once nurses feel comfortable with a computer, she said, it is easier to introduce new technology.
Children’s Healthcare conducted scenario-based training, leading nurses through the workflow of how they would document an assessment or administer a medication.
Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Ariz., moved into a new, all-electronic facility a couple of years ago. Nurses trained ...view middle of the document...
Employ super users
Banner Gateway trained super users who did not have a patient load during and for about two weeks after the “go live” to help nurses navigate the system.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta also prepared nurse super users. They attended additional educational sessions, listened to their peers’ questions and were ready to assist fellow nurses when the system went live. The super users wore special T-shirts, which helped identify their temporary role, and were not given a patient assignment so they had time to spend assisting fellow nurses.
“It was worth the investment,” Popkin said. “Cost is always a consideration, especially when you think about nurses not having patients, but it gave them an opportunity to help their co-workers get off to a successful start and use the tools in the right way.”
Blik suggests training file clerks and other people who will lose their jobs when an electronic medical record is implemented as software experts who can help clinicians use the system.
Popkin and most of her peers on the Children’s Healthcare informatics team have extensive clinical experience, as nurses, respiratory therapists or in other roles.
“That has helped us to be successful,” Popkins said. “We have experiences personally about how the real-world hospital works.”