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October 24: Today on TownHall Sue Schade, Principal at StarBridge Advisors speaks with Liz Griffith, Director of EHR Education and Bobby Zarr, Vice President of Healthcare at uPerform. They reveal how healthcare organizations can optimize available resources, decrease the time clinicians spend on training, and boost user satisfaction in implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems. Amidst the backdrop of current industry challenges, the duo discuss the innovative ways they've helped health systems navigate these complexities - cue, turning training time into patient time. Is the key to overcoming these challenges the integration of personalized, efficient learning rooted in the EHR? We dig deeper into their experiences, learning how the larger healthcare narrative is envisioned through their eyes. How does this transformative approach to EHR education tie into the bigger picture of the ongoing evolution of healthcare technology?

Articles mentioned in this episode: 

BSW EHR Satisfaction:

MHealth Fairview eConsent adoption:

UCHealth reducing onboarding time:

Gundersen Health System reducing onboarding time by 66%:

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This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

Today on This Week Health.

those clinicians who state that they have workflow specific training report significantly higher satisfaction and then those who report, yeah, I sat through that training class.

It didn't actually matter to me at all because none of the screens they showed were mine, I really spent eight hours learning nothing. There's nothing more frustrating, clinicians don't hate training. They hate training that wastes their time. 

Welcome to Town Hall, a show hosted by leaders on the front lines with interviews of people making things happen in healthcare with technology. My name is Bill Russell, the creator of This Week Health, a set of channels and events dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged.

We've been making podcasts that amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward for over five years, and we want to thank our show sponsors. who help to make this happen. Armis First Health Advisors, Meditech, Transcarent, and UPerform. We thank them for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.

Now, on to our show.

Hello, I'm Sue Shade, Principal at Starbridge Advisors and one of the hosts of the Town Hall Show at This Week Health. Today, my guests are Bobbie Zahr, Vice President of Healthcare Strategy, and Liz Griffith, EHR Education Director from uPerform. Bobbie is a seasoned healthcare leader with over 10 years of extensive health IT training experience prior to joining uPerform in 2020.

Previously, Liz was with Class Research, where she led EHR satisfaction consulting and measurements. Working with all types of healthcare organizations from large IDN systems to small ambulatory groups. We all know that health systems are facing financial constraints and staffing shortages. They are being forced to find ways to do more with less.

In this episode, we will discuss how to streamline onboarding and get clinicians to patient care faster. Supported with a personalized toolkit to aid EHR efficiency, clinicians can be more satisfied EHR users. I'm looking forward to learning about uPerform and how organizations can decrease the time clinicians spend in training and increase their EHR satisfaction with a transformative approach to EHR education.

Welcome, Bobbi and Liz. Thanks.

Glad to be here.

Great. Well, let's get started by having you each briefly introduce yourself and your role that you perform. Bobby, I'll have you go first.

I'm Bobby Czar, as you said. Vice President of Healthcare Strategy. A lot of people uh, wonder what strategy needs to be done with healthcare learning, and I think we'll get to that then have a good explanation in the webinar here as we go through it.

My previous history was in healthcare. It ranging from IT security through infrastructure, then migrated onto the application side where I. was tasked with implementing our EHR project and realized that the training was not going to be done the way that we thought it could be done because we lacked the resources to do it.

So I learned early on that in healthcare you try to do things with the resources you have, not the resources you want. And so you've got to get really creative with training, hopefully bringing some of that to UPerform. I found UPerform as one of key elements to implementing our training.

And at the EHR with fewer resources than we ever thought possible. And ePerformer's been doing that and continue to deliver those results to our clients as we grow. So, glad to be here and look forward to the discussion.

Great. Thank you so much. And yes, we absolutely all know that you work with what you have as opposed to what you want.

Important lesson in healthcare. Liz, can you introduce yourself?

Thanks, Sue. Liz Griffith, and as you mentioned, I came from class research where I was leading the EHR Satisfaction Research program called the ARCH Collaborative. And so, in a world where you learn to understand a problem inside and outside being introduced to a real solution, which is what happened when I got to meet Bobby and team here at uPerform.

I knew that was something that I wanted to jump on board with and be able to come over and continue working very closely with class. We have a strong partnership, but being able to bring a real solution to one of the biggest problems, which is this gap in EHR education. And so really excited to be here.

Great. Thank you so much. And I think we'll probably hear more about how class uh, and network impacts what you're doing at uPerform. So, Bobby, we all know the financial and staffing situations in healthcare are very challenging at this point. Can you tell us more about uPerform and what you offer?

Thanks, Shrikan. Yes, as we stated, it's clear that the challenges in healthcare, both financial and staffing related, have never been more pressing. At U4, we're dedicated to helping health systems navigate these difficulties by providing a comprehensive streamlined solution for onboarding to enhance the experience of clinicians as they engage with the EHR.

Our approach revolves around the development and provision of personalized learning content designed to improve EHR efficiency. The uPerform platform serves as a multi faceted resource which, when implemented, significantly accelerates the onboarding process for clinicians, enabling them to start patient care faster.

We call that turning training time into patient time. We recognize that time is of the essence in healthcare and our goal is to empower clinicians to spend more time with patients and less time in training, ultimately improving patient care and satisfaction. One of the key components of our platform is the integration of learning content inside the EMR.

right in the flow of work where clinicians and users need it. This ensures that they not only become proficient EHR users, but also gain confidence in their EHR skills. By reducing the learning curve and providing ongoing assistance, we aim to improve the overall satisfaction of clinicians with the EHR system, which we'll talk about more, I'm sure, with the class research and other things that have been reported in the industry.

In essence, uPerform offers a transformative approach to EHR education and support, which directly addresses the financial and staffing challenges in healthcare. By minimizing the time clinicians spend in training, we enable them to focus on their primary role, which is delivering high quality patient care.

Our mission is to contribute to the overall well being of both healthcare professionals and the patients they serve.

I love some of what you said in terms of turning the training time into patient care time. Would you refer to it as just in time training?

We do call our platform just in time training, and that doesn't mean that it's always in the flow of work.

A lot of times, just in time, and we'll talk about onboarding as well, is, getting them off onto the right start which I call right from the start. So, getting them the knowledge that they need, when, where, and how they need it is critical.

Great. Thanks. So, Liz, why is now the right time to make technology training a strategic priority for healthcare organizations?

Yeah, thanks, Sue. We, you know, as everyone knows, we are in a period of exceptional technology growth. We are expanding the number of technologies that our clinicians have to utilize almost daily. And our clinicians are faced with this non stop barrage of technology, and they're expected to not only utilize that technology but often master it on their own time.

And with very little direction. So as an industry you know, we saw and we're still seeing throughout the arts collaborative research that we have yet to really truly master this gap between EHR education and what our clinicians really need to be proficient in their jobs. along with EHR, we're rapidly moving towards the, adoption of AI in its many forms.

And so this really leads to a significant technology burden. in the research with the collaborative technology burden and EHR, they both together, those are huge contributing factors to burnout and why often clinicians are choosing to leave their organization. And so we want to make sure that we're empowering organizations with the right tools that they need in order to close that gap.

And like, Bobby said, provide that just in time needed support and training. And I feel like when we've seen, and Bobby alluded to this, we've seen health systems who are choosing to be innovative when it comes to education, organizations such as UCHealth and Gundersen Health System and Health Fairview, these are all organizations, only utilizing UPerform, but other technologies to be really innovative in their approach.

To EHR and technology training, they're seeing significant reduction in their onboarding time, improved EHR utilization, and improved EHR satisfaction. And I think that all of those things are the areas that we really need to bolster at this time. 📍

 We'll get back to our show in just a minute. We have an excellent webinar coming up for you in November. We had an excellent conversation about AI in September with three academic medical centers around the topic of artificial intelligence.

It really was exceptional, and we released it on our podcast channel so that we could share it with a wider audience. I wanted to explore that topic a little bit more, and I asked a couple of additional health systems to join us to explore the use of generative AI and other forms of artificial intelligence to see if we can identify some pragmatic approaches to how health systems are looking at taking advantage of this technology.

The webinar is on November 2nd, 1pm Eastern Time, 10am Pacific Time. You can reserve your spot on ThisWeekHealth. com and one of the things we love is that you can submit your questions in advance and we can make sure that we, answer those questions and keep the webinar relevant to the things that you're looking to talk about.

So, please join us November 2nd, 1 p. m. Eastern Time, 10 a. m. Pacific Time. Now, back to our show. 📍

 Great, thanks. And I, you know, we've mentioned class research a couple times.

just wondering, are there any class research reports that we can possibly share and link to in the show notes?

That's a good question because their reports are actually kind of, member accessible only. However, we do have. At least our case study, like with Baylor, Scott, and White and maybe that we could add into the show notes that, specifically show that improvement in EHR satisfaction.

Okay, that would be great. And Bobby other efficiencies or improvements that health systems are seeing in their training and support strategies with the help of you perform beyond what Liz has already told us about?

Great, I'll just expand on what Liz has talked about. I mean, she mentioned three great customers.

I'll... Kind of get specific on their use case for us, but our healthcare partners are generating substantial ROIs by turning training time into patient time. Specific examples she mentioned one of our partners, UCHealth, now onboards clinicians in as little as two hours. Gunderson Health has turned two full days of onboarding time into patient time.

And then finally, M Health Fairview gives back over 20, 000 hours per year of clinician previously spent in training. So, these efficiency gains enable clinicians to get on the floor faster and start caring for patients. So, that's a tremendous... Tremendous ROI and also a huge increase in satisfaction, which is directly related to the quality of patient care as well.

UPerform increases application proficiency as well. MHealth Fairview was struggling to get providers to adopt the new e consent workflow. By embedding uPerform directly in the flow of work, Right in that workflow, adoption went from 7 percent to 87 percent in two weeks. This not only improved clinician proficiency, but had a direct impact on patient throughput and their revenue cycle.

That's impressive, those numbers. You said from 7 percent to 87 percent adoption in two

weeks? And our clients not only realize substantial gains in the efficiency and proficiency, but their users are more satisfied. As Liz mentioned, our clients class scores consistently show a double digit increase in net EHR experience scores for their uPerform users.


and very impressive. Liz, we often hear that IT education is overlooked and deprioritized. Maybe one of the first things, to go when there's cuts. How is this trend impacting the industry and how is UPerform helping to turn that tide?

Well, you couldn't have stated it better. That is definitely one of the first things we do tend to see when there are IT budget cuts is going to be like, oh, well, we'll let training go.

And I'll take that another level further. What I tend to see is it's not just training. Well, the first thing to go will be your nurse training. So it's almost like our nurses barely run. At the very get go, and then if it has to go further, then the physicians will also lose their training. And I think you can see this if you have access to some of those class reports, they're showing even about the time that COVID happened, which not surprisingly, they really start to show some trending dips and how clinicians are rating both their onboarding and ongoing training.

And in fact, the only area of training that is seeing an increase is how clinicians are rating. Their utilization of virtual self directed which we fall under that category for class. And so while everything else is kind of taking this slow decline, the way clinicians are rating their use of virtual self directed is kind of seen a much steeper incline than the decline of the rest.

And so I think we're seeing just a huge change. But, health systems, they really can scale their current education programs. Bobby mentioned this earlier when he said, our ability to do more with sometimes less than we thought possible is impacted positively by the use of innovative technology such as you perform.

And so when you're transitioning to a digital learning model, you know, rather than having Front of a class for 8 hours. That same trainer can now spend time making very and role specific training, and they can even then grow their capacity and skill as a trainer because where you might have had a trainer that would only train on 1 very specific part of the EHR, that trainer now gets to learn across multiple, modalities and multiple pieces so that they can start creating content across a broader scale. This was actually something that Gundersen Health System talked about when they came and shared with us at our user group, where they said, 1 of the things we're really enjoying is that our trainers.

They feel like they've been able to grow their skills tremendously across the board when it comes to the things that they're really adept at working on. And then that also allows them to turn around and become one on one coaches. So we often kind of feel like, oh, if I, if I move to virtual training, that means we'll never do one on one coaching again.

And the, it couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, most of our organizations are saying By moving to a virtual self directed model, they've actually been able to free up these trainers who used to stand in front of the classroom to not only create really specific content, but then turn around and also become one to one coaches.

So follow up question on that is I think about my experience as a CIO in organizations where we implemented EPIC and the size of the training team that we had to grow to prepare materials and to deliver the training and then, post implementation, the ongoing support and changes to training.

How are organizations able to adjust their training staffing levels? If they're leveraging you, perform.

That is a really good question. We definitely do not encourage or say, Hey, this is great because you can cut your staffing levels. The truth is... You're going to be able to be so much more impactful and effective with the staff that you currently have.

One of the things we always hear, and you've probably experienced this as a CIO, is that training team could barely keep up with the constantly changing EHR, the constant influx of net new, hires. So we do not promote that, Hey, if you get you perform, you can cut half your training staff. What we really say is.

With the current training staff you have, you're going to be able to do exponentially more and more, importantly, specific training. One of the other pieces of class research is that those clinicians who state that they have workflow specific training report significantly higher satisfaction and then those who report, yeah, I sat through that training class.

It didn't actually matter to me at all because none of the screens they showed were mine, none of those workflows are mine, and so I really spent eight hours learning nothing. There's nothing more frustrating, and Bobby says this best and I'll probably butcher it, but clinicians don't hate training. They hate training that wastes their time.

Right. Give them something impactful. You're going to grow a lot of trust between that IT group and those clinicians, and they're going to come back wanting more. That's what uPerform gives you the ability to do, is do more with who you have.

Let's take it up a level. Bobby, what does an effective training strategy look like?

love this question, mainly because as we talked about, training is usually viewed as an afterthought, necessary evil a Requirement, check the box out there, and a budgetary initiative that they can squeeze as tightly as they want to to get the most out of before they have to you know, if they had to, they could eliminate all of it if they really thought they could get away with it.

So, that's it. Usually the tactical side and the budgetary side. Training is rarely thought of as a strategic initiative, but research from class and others shows that training accounts were 50 percent of the overall EHR success. And I know if I was an executive and I've sat in the role of many a leadership position, I would look at something that was 50 percent of the success factor of a project would be very strategic for me.

And I'm just amazed that it's the largest success factor in a project, but it's not thought of strategically. So what does an effective training strategy look like? Get back to your question. An effective training strategy is built on three pillars. Timely, relevant, and functional. Timely. Given the pace of change in healthcare, it's nearly impossible for training teams to keep up with the demands of content.

Yet, training content is essential for adoption and satisfaction. Users need content when they need it, not when the training team can deliver it. So, otherwise, they're training time to speak, seeking information, which multiplies the time demand by pulling in other resources like their peers, staff, the help desk, even worse, like the MBET Health Fairview story.

Not completing the needed workflow at all. So what does that look like? The other pillar is relevant. Content must be relevant to the individual user's role, location, knowledge level, and workflow. An inpatient nurse looking for help on a heparin infusion doesn't need to know how to order heparin like a physician.

They just need to know how to locate the existing order and administer it. Conversely, a physician doesn't need a lesson on the MAR. They just need to know how to order it, check its admin status, and ensure the protocol is effective. And finally, functional. Learners don't need to sit in a classroom for hours on end with dozens of other learners and users waiting for that one user to figure out how to work their mouse while they sit there twiddling their thumbs.

They don't need to watch an entire video series or e learnings to teach them one step needed to complete a task, such as a med rec that they're trying to complete and get a patient discharged on a timely basis. Content must deliver the learning appropriate for the user. And for some learners and situations, it might be a simple tip sheet.

For others, it might be a step by step in simulation. Others may need to watch an entire workflow as a video. Let the learner decide. What works for them is most important. What works for them in the moment of need is essential.

Thanks so much. Last question I have for Liz. Moving away from classroom training may be difficult for some systems. How would you recommend they start that transition to hybrid or virtual training?

I love this one because just recently at our user group meeting, we had several organizations sharing their best practices around this very topic.

So I'll use the words of one of our clients who said, be patient. Be persistent and think differently. And at class research our mantra was always. The data speaks. We have no opinion. The data speaks. Well, in this case the data is very clear, and it shows that clinicians who utilize virtual self directed learning not only show greater EHR satisfaction gains, but they actually self report that they're saving approximately 91 minutes of documentation per week for every hour that they spent in self directed virtual training.

And you compare that in the same report, they say, if I spend an hour in classroom training, I think I save about 33 minutes of documentation. a three X multiple. That is a huge savings. And so when we start looking at that data, if we believe the data. Then the next step is you've got to get yourself a great partner that's really going to be able to support those efforts.

And so, in order to make a successful transition to that, to those 3 pillars that Bobby just walked through, timely, relevant, and functional, you're going to need the ability to create, manage, and deliver content. very quickly, because that's how our IT world is right now. It's rapidly changing. And so you've got to have a partner that's going to help you in all of those areas.

And so, but then to have a, an exceptionally successful transition, you also need to be able to deliver that content, how, where, and when the clinician needs it.

Great. Okay, well, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. And I think we've touched on a very important challenge and opportunity for healthcare organizations as they continue to roll out their EHRs.

So thank you both.

Thanks, Sue. Thanks, Sue.

  📍 I love this show. I love hearing what workers and leaders on the front lines are doing.

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