Training Coordination – The Overlooked Project

I just wrapped up a project as a training coordinator, and I have tremendous respect for those who are tasked with this important responsibility. Until taking on this role, I underestimated how much work goes into planning the right classes, at the right time and with the right equipment.  When working as a Connect analyst, I would point staff to the right person to get scheduled prior to the go-live date.  Scheduling hundreds of staff for a major go-live is a tremendous task.

One of the first tasks is getting your staff volumes and class size determined. Use of the Epic Training Calculator aides in determining how many training staff are needed based on the number of staff in each role, the number of classrooms available for training, number of seats in the room and length of the class.  For certain classes, there may be a need for peripherals such as signature pads, scanners, etc., that must be included in the training room configuration and verification that they are functioning properly.  Once these numbers are known, you can then ramp up the training staff accordingly and work with internal and 3rd parties.

Once you have trainer staffing complete, one of the first tasks early on in the process is the onboarding and credentialing of the trainers, whether you are using internal or external staff. A good program involves working with the organization’s team to get ID badges, emails, network logins, and access to the appropriate applications.  Then you must work with the principal trainers (PT) to set up times to go over the curriculum that these new CTs will be teaching.  This position is also responsible for development of the schedule for the new CT’s training, teach-backs, and credentialing panels with key stakeholders (i.e., department leads).  It is essential to have strong credential trainers that all participated in your program.

After everyone is credentialed, the schedules need to be set up and entered into the organization’s LMS (Learning Management System), listing out dates, times, location and length of class based on the results from the training calculator. Additional classes are normally added at the beginning to accommodate varying schedules, and added “on the fly” for last minute registrants.  Depending on the size of the roll-out, the number of staff to be trained will determine how far in advance training should start prior to your go-live.  End users (or their manager) would be responsible for ensuring that staff are registered for the appropriate class or classes.  Once training is completed, reports are generated through the LMS and the appropriate security is provisioned based on the training completed and the employee is then able to access the system.

Another critical assignment is the development of a course catalog for training offered for new staff trainees (ex. patient access staff, revenue cycle staff and practice managers). Information should include synopsis of course, intended audience, time commitment, prerequisites, and frequency of course offering.  This is also intended for those areas that are already live with Epic and are getting new staff at the location.  These classes are set on a standing schedule and in conjunction with new employee orientation.  That way, we can get the employee into training as soon as the day after their new employee orientation class.  Standing schedules are also developed for the hospital’s post go-live again to accommodate new hires at these locations.

Training has always been one of the most critical components to successful impressions of the EMR, adoption, initial cultural implications and more. Training coordination is an integral aspect of any system roll-out and managing your training program closely with strong project managers and coordinators will ensure smooth, adaptive programs keeping all training on track for success.