Training and Support

CST education and training will be based on roles and workflows, with opportunities to practice before transitioning to the new clinical information system. Formal education delivery will typically start about six to eight weeks prior to the implementation of the new clinical information system. Education and training for physicians and other providers includes:

  • E-learning modules: Get to know the look, feel and basic screens in the new system - beneficial for classroom training.

  • Classroom training: Foundational, in-person learning delivered to give providers the knowledge and skills to be successful.

  • Future-state workflow reviews: Specific to your role, interdisciplinary or specialty/unit/department.

  • Skill sharpeners: Clinical information system practices covering hot topics and difficult elements of computerized provider order entry (CPOE).

  • Personalization sessions: Opportunity to set up provider preferences in the new system working with a Cerner expert.

Learning curve and productivity

When physicians and other providers begin to use the new clinical information system, particularly computerized provider order entry (CPOE), they will go through a learning curve. What does this learning curve mean for productivity?

Dr. Eric Grafstein, VCH and PHC’s Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) reviewed medical journal articles on the topic and talked with providers at other sites that have implemented CPOE. His conclusion:

“We can expect an adjustment period and a loss of productivity. I’m told by experts it’s typically about 20 per cent, though it varies, and journal articles state almost everyone returns to baseline productivity within five or six months.”

Bridging the “valley of despair”

There’s a challenging transition period following activation of a new clinical information system – referred by some as the “valley of despair” –  in which  providers are experiencing the considerable challenge of getting up to speed on the new system, and not yet feeling the benefits. To get through this period with as little disruption as possible, physicians will be provided with extra support:

  • Additional clinical staff, including physicians, will be available during the activation period.

  • Where there aren’t dedicated additional resources, extra on-call support will be added.

  • On-site at-the-elbow support for providers will include physician champions drawn from VCH, PHSA and PHC, as well as from other Cerner sites in Canada and the U.S. Adoption coaches across North America with experience in multiple Cerner implementations will also support the activation. Sites will have a good mix of experts with experience using the system and physicians who are familiar with Canadian clinical workflows. 

It's going to be hard, but it's worth it for patients

During this transition, physicians and other providers should remember these changes will bring many benefits to patients, including: 

  • Safer medication management

  • More consistent care

  • Faster access to lab results and medication therapies

  • Less time spent repeating information during consultations or undergoing duplicate tests

  • Knowing that care teams will have access to the information they need to provide the best possible care.