Most of us learn just enough about software to get done what we need done at the moment.
Unfortunately, when we continue using software at the same preliminary level, we can’t get every drop of value out of the system that we’ve paid dearly for.
Do yourself and your group a favor by using one or more of these 10 ways to get more out of your system.
- Update your protocols (or write them if you don’t have them) for the basic tasks and see what tips, tricks, and shortcuts some staff have discovered that all staff might not know about. Collect everyone’s knowledge about your PM and EMR and disseminate it. Especially if you are a larger group with several locations, you will find that individual knowledge about using the system will vary and you need to bring everyone to the same level.
- Most vendors have online training videos and webinars and new offerings are added all the time. Have you visited the list recently? Do your newest employees have the benefit of being trained using these resources, or have they been trained on the job by an employee who might not be the most qualified to pass on information?
- Are you participating in online user groups for your software? Not all vendors have robust online user groups, but the big ones do, and the information is great on-the-ground information that you can use. Some user groups are independent of the vendor and some are attached to the vendor.
- Visit other medical groups using the same products and see how they’re using it. Most reserve visits for pre-sale, but much more can be gained by visiting groups after the sale and benefiting from their experience.
- Salespeople can be an amazing source of information after the sale, but many managers don’t ever see the salesperson again after the sale. Invite your salesperson to meet with you after the sale and visit with the staff, watching them work. Your salesperson should have lots of information about how other sites are using the software, as well as the latest tips and tricks.
- Use software support for more than just problems. Call them and ask “Is there a better way to do_______?” You’ll never know what you don’t know until you ask.
- Stay in touch with your trainer. Most companies shut off access to the trainers once you go-live, but establish a good relationship with your trainer and s/he may continue to help you with information. Send a thank-you note after training, and send an unsolicited note of praise to the trainer’s boss – if they did a good job, of course.
- Make friends with the voice on the other end of the support line. They may have very limited information, or they may be a gold mine.
- Join software-specific listservs sponsored by your professional organizations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or continue conversations offline.
- Spend the money to go to a users conference when at all possible. if you can’t go, purchase or borrow the conference videos, audios or slides.
Bonus#11: Take full advantage of any updates or upgrades by digging into the changes and improvements and making sure all staff are adequately trained.