Preparing for your facility’s EMR roll-out
Securing, relocating, and orienting travel professionals can often take four to eight weeks. Facilities working with union representation will be required to gain approval to bring in travel or contract workers and that can take months to achieve. The best approach? Notify your staffing agency about your EMR plans as early as possible.
Small or medium-sized facilities that wish to speed the implementation process may choose to train large numbers of staff at a time, while back filling with traveler or local temporary workers. This approach can certainly expedite EMR rollout. Most states require hospital units to maintain a minimum number of permanent staff alongside temporary workers, so keep that in mind when the plan is being developed.
Some organizations find success using clinicians as their primary training force rather than software technicians. While software technicians have intimate knowledge of the EMR system, they are not versed in the day-to-day functions and processes of patient care. Because nurses understand the requirements of patient documentation and bedside care, they may be more adept at training their peers in the daily use of an EMR system.
In this scenario, a staffing agency provides traveling clinicians who undergo extensive training on the new EMR system before it is implemented so they can help train the staff nurses. After the facility’s staff has completed classroom training, the trainers or power users are used onsite to shadow permanent staff who are using the system for the first time. This approach is sometimes used when the implementation plan calls for small numbers of staff nurses to undergo classroom training at a time, disrupting the normal staffing plan as little as possible. That means the EMR will have a lengthier implementation schedule. However, the approach can be highly effective for healthcare systems with multiple locations, allowing mobile trainers to float from facility to facility as needed.
We can help you determine what staff you need to make the EMR rollout more efficient. A large client of ours that that expected to hire 100 travelers during its EMR implementation found we were able to provide a mix of local and travel staff, requiring only 60 travel contracts. That saved the health system nearly $1 million.