Training employees on the use of new automated systems is critical to the success of such projects as explained by Charette (2005). To identify the right training needs of the members of staff necessary to make them sufficiently capable of shifting to and adopting the new EHR system, a needs assessment is necessary. In the needs assessment, computer expertise among staff members will be evaluated. On this, basic computer skills should be evaluated to determine the right content, depth, and pace to be adopted in ensuring that computer training covers the needs of the hospital from the perspective of the new EHR system to be installed.
To conduct the needs assessment, a survey can be conducted to accurately capture the need. It might not be appropriate to assume that everyone in this age is well averse with computers. The survey should confirm the assumption. The survey should identify those who need basic computer training before the installation of the new system so that they can be trained on the system together with the others who are well averse with computers.
The training program for the now computer literate staff should acknowledge that members of staff have different roles, duties, and responsibilities. There are those who have the responsibility of inputting data into the system. They are at the clerical level. As such, such individuals should be extensively trained on accuracy of data entry and the rules involved as opined by Maguire (2005). Other members of staff up in the hierarchy may have more sophisticated roles such as the records analyst. Such members of staff might require less training on accuracy of data entry but might require more training on the creation of specialized indexes and data search strategy, and the interpretation of retrieved results. An understanding of such sophisticated roles will thus require more intensive training.
The training program will need to appreciate that technological change comes with management challenges and changes. On this, the hospital needs to be well aware of the changes the system can have. Staff need to be induced to their new roles and also to the fact that their expectations might not be met. Some might be rendered redundant too. The training program should take into account the fears of staff, such as fear of job security, inability to fit in, change of roles and so on. To end the training, the training program needs to be cognizant of the issue of computer misuse and ethics (Masson, 2017). As such, policies to man the new technologies need to be developed and taught to the staff.
For the team that will be handling the new EHR, cultural, literacy, and language concerns are important. The organizational culture of the hospital and clinics being served should be ready to support the new EHR system especially by the individuals that will be actively involved with the system as described by Ash and Bates (2005). This means that there must be a culture of trust between users of the system and the hospital administration. As such, there should be n forced adoption of the system lest it faces resistance. To prepare the culture to adopt the system, the administration should demonstrate willingness and support (moral and financial) of the system. Somebody to answer questions from the staff should be there. Thakkar and Davis (2006) found out that organizational culture was a barrier to the adoption of EHR to a mean rank level of 5.10 indicating that it is a significant barrier. When assessed for its statistical significance, the same assessment determined that organizational culture is statistically significant in the adoption of EHR systems.
The language that the EHR system is designed to display its contents should be the one that the members of staff are conversant with. This means that the provider of the system should be made aware of the language needs of the company. literacy will affect the understanding of text and instructions in the system. Kazmi (2014) found that EHR promotes the encouragement of patient questioning due to the concept of a structured format. A health worker needs to be conversant with the conversion of patient language to biomedical language.
Ash, J. S., & Bates, D. W. (2005). Factors and forces affecting EHR system adoption: report of a 2004 ACMI discussion. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 12(1), 8-12.
Charette, R. N. (2005). Why software fails. IEEE spectrum, 42(9), 36.
Kazmi, Z. (2014). Effects of exam room EHR use on doctor-patient communication: a systematic literature review. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 21(1), 30-39.
Maguire, R. (2005). Lessons learned from implementing an electronic records management system. Records Management Journal, 15(3), 150-157.
Mason, R. O. (2017). Four ethical issues of the information age. In Computer Ethics (pp. 41-48). Routledge.Thakkar, M., & Davis, D. C. (2006). Risks, barriers, and benefits of EHR systems: a comparative study based on size of hospital. Perspectives in Health Information Management/AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, 3.
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