When you change the way thousands of physicians will be working in your hospitals (i.e. implement a totally new Electronic Health Record), it’s no small task to win their hearts and minds. Nothing can substitute for face-to-face engagement: local physician champions talking to their colleagues at mixers, convenient and effective training followed by hands-on time, prior to go-live; and at-the-elbow support at go-live. Emailed information is not the name of the game.

At Providence, we created an interactive tool called Choose Your Own Journey that lets physicians try-out our build of the Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) prior to training. These modules walk them through patient visits, orders and other tasks – with a narrator prompting them to perform each step (and helping them if they need it).

Our first inpatient go-live experiences demonstrated to us that we needed even more support for our physicians.  We subsequently added Provider Optimization Workshops, on site, to help better prepare them before go-live. We also employed tutors (med students already well-schooled on Epic) for at-the-elbow help during their first days of using the new system with actual patients, and set up Provider Engagement Centers during go-live where physicians could ask questions and get help.

Our physician champions used talking points, FAQs and other tools we prepped for them. We wrote a candid “pros and cons of Epic” piece that acknowledged what tasks would initially take them more time until they became proficient on the system.  It also discusses what they needed to sacrifice for the greater cause of achieving integrated patient records that would ultimately save everyone time, and lead to better outcomes, and higher patient safety and satisfaction.

Bottom line: you can’t have too much physician engagement.

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