I spent a great deal of time throughout the 2019 holidays watching NCAA football conference championship games, bowl games, and playoff games leading to the national championship game. I began thinking about and trying to analyze what makes these football teams successful. I started comparing football scenarios to EHR training teams I have encountered on different Epic training projects over the years. I have been contracted as a training program manager on several Epic training projects, and my experience has been that by the time I arrive on a project, the training project has often gone terribly awry. Usually, I am the second, third, or fourth program manager to manage the project, tasked to get the project on track. On nearly every project, I have encountered EHR training teams who were frustrated and angry, feeling betrayed as a result of previous leadership and/or how they were placed in the Principal Trainer role.
In many cases, the Principal Trainers had developed no peer relationships nor respect for one another's contributions to the project. Fortunately, with hard work and long hours, the teams were able to get these projects on the right track. To do this, it was necessary to develop a higher-performing EHR training team. The Principal Trainers are the core of a training project's success!
So, where does one start in trying to build a higher-performing team? I learned early in my consulting career that the skills I learned as a nurse applies to scenarios beyond patient care. Apply the nursing process to team development.
Let's return to football. When I research the characteristics of winning teams, the results consistently reflect these characteristics: vision, engagement, collaboration, diversity, respect, common goal, mutual respect and trust, effective leadership, and preparation. These characteristics are not just limited to football teams. These characteristics apply to ALL teams. The responsibility of a leader is to create an environment that promotes a higher level of performance to build a successful EHR training team and achieve desired outcomes.
Phyllis Siverhus is a member of Optimum Healthcare IT's Training and Activation team. If you are interested in learning more about the training and activation services that Optimum offers, click here.