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How to Get Nurses on Board the EHR Train

By Deborah Canfield, RN, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2010

3. Provide clinicians as training resources
A major reason Saint Barnabas has successfully implemented EHRs in its EDs is that its trainers are either practicing or former ED RNs and/or physicians. These trainers carried a lot of credibility with our staff—they were one of us with many of them using the same EHR in their own EDs.

Having good clinical educators walking around the floors before, during, and after implementation is a key to securing clinician acceptance. Nurses and physicians will ask questions; the faster they get answers, the quicker they will learn to use and fully leverage the system. For example, when Newark Beth Israel upgraded its EHR last year, trainers were on the floors around-the-clock for five days. To complement the vendor’s clinical resources, they and the hospital also had IT employees on-site ready to address any technical issues.

The vendor’s ability and willingness to provide fast support to users was a high priority for the hospital because it recognized that nurses and physicians could potentially resist adopting the EHR if their questions or problems weren’t resolved in a timely fashion. At Saint Barnabas, we encountered some resistance from older nurses who were uncomfortable using computers. Through one-on-one training with the apprehensive nurses, Saint Barnabas was able to quickly ease their minds and bring them up-to-speed on how to use the EHR successfully.

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1 comments on "How to Get Nurses on Board the EHR Train"


kit (12/28/2010 at 2:38 PM)
Good article. I think that an RN-informatician should be added to any hospital above 150 beds. In addition, 24/7 super user support is needed for longer interval than many vendors provide. Finally, a hospital blog should be dedicated to real world insights on IT integration; Three questions for the author/informaticians Does ANIA/AMIA have data on the number of RN-informaticians that we have? Are these nursing informatics programs capitalized like the med informatics groups? What programs lead to the most innovative thinking? (ie. Purdue or Baltimore are two that come to mind)