The Importance of Continuing Education
In this world of ever-increasing technology and new products, applications, and features, it is very easy to develop information overload. It’s also easy to overlook the importance of learning how to use your digital tools. Just think about your smart phone: it can do so much, yet most of us use it for only those few functions that we really needed and learned when we first purchased it. Who has the time to figure out every bell and whistle – not to mention learn all the new features that get added with every update!
Much like the cell phone, when your EMR and billing software were implemented, you were forced to learn a great deal in a short amount of time. In all likelihood, you focused on the skills that would get you through your day.
However, do you ever find yourself thinking, “There has to be an easier way,” or wondering, “Is there an application that can solve this problem?” Do you see your new staff members struggling to learn the basics? Follow up training, which practices often don’t consider, can help you and your staff become more proficient on the system, while also helping newer employees master the fundamentals.
Finding the time for additional training is difficult in a busy practice, but the benefits are immediate. Providers can reduce the amount of time spent documenting patient visits; office staff can perform billing functions more efficiently; and everyone can experience less frustration! Everyone – even the most experienced users – can benefit from additional training and learning new skills. That’s why even Olympians train every day!
Most EMR and PM vendors offer a variety of avenues for training, from videos to web sessions to onsite services. Aprima provides numerous continuing education programs, including the following:
The Aprima Academy was born out of the need to make both scheduled and on-demand learning resources available to customers. Aprima Academy includes several options:
Hosted Web Sessions: The hosted web sessions feature training on topics of current interest, such as Meaningful Use, PQRS and Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances. Sessions are hosted by a live trainer and offered to all Aprima customers at no charge. Angela Battle, MD, FAAP, at Hazelhurst Pediatrics commented “The session was quite productive but I never felt bogged down. I got all of the sessions that I had planned for at the time that worked for me. I am feeling better about making the EHR switch.”
Web Training Subscription: The web training subscription includes access to a series of regularly scheduled training sessions that are hosted by a live trainer and focused on different areas of the product. These sessions are more in-depth than the hosted web sessions that focus on current topics. All major areas of the application, including set-up, are covered and are available for both EMR and PM.
Each class is two hours and all are offered at a variety of times. Sessions are very interactive and packed with great content that benefits both new employees and experienced users. As noted by Leslie Rach, FNP-C from Desert Bloom, “My practice had been struggling with our current software application for almost 18 months. It was a very difficult decision to change EHRs as our experience with our current vendor has been horrific at best; the training was terrible. When I started Aprima training with Shirley, she immediately reinforced the decision to change to Aprima. The training is outstanding and Shirley is patient, an excellent instructor and personable. She makes sure everyone in the class is getting exactly what they need. She is helping me figure out best practices and goes above and beyond by checking on me periodically to make sure I don't need anything.”
Aprima Quick-Reference Videos (on demand): The quick reference videos are designed to provide quick answers on very specific topics. Most videos are less than 10 minutes and can be used as refreshers or as an intro for new features and functionality. While these videos should not be considered a substitute for complete application training, they are a great resource when you need a quick answer or want to preview new features.
Handouts (on demand): Handouts are offered for most of our classes and can be found linked to the Aprima Academy page.
Need more focused training specific to your needs? We make that available as well:
Private web sessions: Aprima staff can provide personalized web sessions on the topic of your choice and on any topic that you desire. Sessions are scheduled at a time that works best for you. On-site training: Sometimes nothing beats sitting down next to a trainer in your office to address your specific needs. We schedule visits at a time that works for you and customize the training agenda in advance based on your unique requirements. Our goal is to make sure you receive maximum value from your on-site training time.
Regional Boot Camps: Aprima offers cost-effective, regional boot camps in various geographical areas throughout the year. Typically, these are day-long sessions that take place in a classroom environment and provide in-depth focus on PM, EHR, and Super User topics. Please check our Boot Camp schedule for upcoming sessions in Columbus (May) and Denver (June), as well as in Dallas (August) prior to our Annual User Conference.
Support Alerts: The Aprima support department issues alerts advising users of new features, software issues, and educational materials. The alerts are delivered weekly and include valuable information to keep you up-to-date on Aprima-related items, as well as third-party news and issues related to insurance carriers, e-prescribing, and government reporting. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not receiving these updates.
The bottom line is that sometimes a little training can make all the difference in the world when it comes to keeping your practice running quickly and efficiently!
Donna Frazier, Aprima Director of Implementation