For many locum tenens physicians and nurse practitioners, a new locum tenens job means learning a new EHR system. Experienced locums likely have several EHR systems mastered, and they most definitely have opinions on the various EHR products. EHR training can vary greatly depending on the organization. Some facilities may require hours of formal training, while others may offer little to no guidance for locums. In either case, it is important to make EHR training as efficient and painless as possible. We asked some of our locums for tips on how to approach learning a new EHR system. Here’s what they had to say. 1. Take the time to absorb the system. When starting a new locum tenens assignment, learning the EHR system is probably the last thing you want to spend time on. However, it is important to set aside a few hours to get to know the facility’s EHR system. Doing so will ensure you are comfortable with the software before you see patients. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck while you are in the room with a patient. 2. Look for similarities. For the most part, EHR systems are fairly similar in their design and functionality. It’s the little differences that will drive you crazy. Still, it’s important to look on the bright side. Chances are many of the system’s features will be intuitive and similar to a system you have already mastered, which means the time it will take to get comfortable with your second system will be much shorter than your first. 3. Focus on the areas you are going to use. Although it is important to take the time to get familiar with an EHR system, keep in mind that there are parts of the software that you will never use. Those nice-to-have functions should take a back seat to the essentials that you must know to perform your day-to-day duties. 4. Know who to ask for help. Some organizations will dedicate one or more “super users” who are tasked with getting to know the more advanced features of the system and assisting other employees. In most cases, one of the organization’s super users will be the one training you on the system. Be sure to get his or her contact information and have it handy. 5. Take advantage of online resources. There could be a time when the super user is not available or perhaps he or she doesn’t have the answer to your question. In that case, you can often access online resources such as articles, guides, webinars, and white papers that vendors make available online. Some vendors will also host discussion boards where users can post questions. Learning a new software system is always a challenge, but hopefully you can use these tips to make it as painless as possible.
About Ben Amirault
Ben Amirault was formerly the marketing manager at Barton Associates' Peabody, MA headquarters. He received a B.A. in English, specializing in journalism, from the University of New Hampshire.