Importance of Training in the Contract

Getting enough training for practitioners is a major challenge for most ambulatory clinics. Being able to spend the time (financially and practically!) to work with IT trainers, change workflow and ask questions is vital. One report by AmericanEHR found that in a survey of doctors, nearly half received less than 3 days of training on their EHR–while it took 3-5 days to achieve working proficiency.

Part of the contract negotiation process is setting up that training, and including a technical point of contact for the critical first few days when providers are on their own with the new technology. That can be a major stumbling block, where it can be difficult to reach the vendor, to get the answers you need, and to do so in a timely manner while treating patients.

This video details one doctor’s experience with implementing an EHR with a vendor who couldn’t or didn’t provide the technical support they needed:

As she discusses, “the follow-up was not the greatest; it was difficult at times to reach our trainer… we couldn’t get ahold of them at a moment’s notice.” There was no clause in the contract about follow-up after implementation, and so this practice suffered.

Lessons Learned:

  • Contracts need to include training points of contact and clauses about response times.
  • Most EHR implementations do not provide enough training.

Barr, Michael (2011) New Report from AmericanEHR: Correlating EHR Training with Usability, Satisfaction, and Meaningful Use.