Working Locum Tenens: Spotlight on EMRs/EHRs
With proper use of EMR/EHR systems, medical professionals can quickly and accurately record patients’ data. These systems are vital to ensuring patients have complete medical records that comply with HIPAA and other important regulations.
Unfortunately for those working locum tenens, each medical center tends to have its own proprietary system. Challenges abound as locum tenens clinicians encounter, and have to learn about, new EMR/EHR systems at every job. This guide aims to help by providing some tips for you to use when it comes time to pick up your next locum tenens assignment.
Overview of EMR/EHR Systems
EMR/EHR systems are different at every job to best support the hospital, clinic, or other facility’s unique processes and information systems. The way you navigate the system, input information, and save it, for example, can all differ quite a bit.
Therefore, for every new system you encounter, you will likely need to undergo initial and ongoing training to operate the program with ease. A willingness to learn is a must and can pay off through valuable experience with a variety of systems. This can make you a great candidate for future jobs, as staffing agencies often place great importance on exposure to EMR/EHR systems.
Tips for Overcoming EMR/EHR System Challenges
With the right approach, you can move toward learning new EMRs/EHRs with confidence. Here are several tips to help you overcome the challenges.
1. Always Remain Flexible
Flexibility is key as you go into your next locum tenens assignment with a new EMR/EHR. Some systems are easier to learn and navigate than others. However, as you add a new system to your repertoire, the process of learning the next will become much easier. Your knowledge of each system’s strengths and weaknesses can help you feel comfortable learning the ropes. This will help accelerate the learning process and allow you to shift your focus to caring for your patients.
2. Ask About On-The-Job Training
When encountering a new or particularly difficult EMR/EHR to learn, you should definitely ask about the availability of on-the-job training. With this question, you will also learn whether the training will occur during onboarding or while on assignment. You can request additional training and resources as well to ensure you are adequately prepared for the role in question.
3. Arrive Prepared
You can also do a lot to prepare yourself for new systems by inquiring which one the facility uses before starting your next locum tenens assignment. Once you know the system they use, you can familiarize yourself with it using online training videos. As you watch the videos, your understanding of the system processes will improve, increasing your comfort levels before you even start.
4. Consider the System
Although it is great to branch out and add to your skill set, that is not always a possibility. If you do not have the time and energy to learn a new system, you can consider choosing a facility with a system you know. You may still have to train on the medical center’s other processes and systems, but learning a new EMR/EHR system will not be on your to-do list. This allows you to quickly focus your attention on providing your patients with excellent care.
Adding EMR/EHR System Competency to Your Skillset
Although EMRs/EHRs can feel challenging to learn and use, it is well worth the effort to learn these systems. Your competency with a wide variety of systems can make you a more desirable candidate for future assignments. Perhaps more importantly, it will reduce your training time, allowing you to spend those valuable hours and days caring for your patients.
Contact a VISTA expert to get started on your next assignment.