Selecting Super-users That Work

Super-users are integral to an organization’s ability to be successful before, during and after an EHR implementation.  They serve a number of purposes, which include assisting during go-lives, being a first line resource to end users post go-live and helping to identify gaps in workflow. In order to provide the level of support needed, they also have a higher level of training than the typical end-user.  This training is often role specific and consists of:

  • Monitoring the print queue
  • Unlocking notes
  • Troubleshooting basic EHR issues (e.g.  can’t get something saved, note attached to wrong encounter, etc…)

The selection of super-users plays an even bigger role in the overall EHR lifecycle.   Unfortunately, figuring out how to choose the “right” super-users can be quite challenging for many organizations.   The natural tendency seems to be to select office managers, people who are “good” with the EHR and/or long-time staffers, but this method often yields poor results for the following reasons:

  • Office managers are not consistently actively working in the system.  There are exceptions to this rule however.
  • End users who are “good” at using the EHR, may not be “good” at teaching others and/or troubleshooting issues within EHR.
  • Long time staffers may know their job and the clinic well, but they also may not be the best teachers or be the most knowledgeable about the EHR.

Figuring out how to select the finest super-users can be as simple as following the process below.  You can be comfortable in knowing that this process has been followed my many organizations across the country (large and small) and far exceeds the alternative of figuring it out as you go, or figuring it out after the fact.

  • Ask for volunteers.  Make sure to explain the position and the expectations clearly so that potential super-users can make good informed decisions.  People who WANT to take on the extra responsibility will undoubtedly do a better job than those who are forced into it.
  • Recruit at least one front office and one back office super-user.  It would also be worthwhile to have back up super-users to account for vacations and sick days.
  • Recruit those individuals who are well respected among their peers.
  • Use people who not only have great computer skills, but who have great people skills, patience and who are good problem solvers.
  • Always recruit people who actively use the system on a day-to-day basis.

Following the recommendations as outlined can help your organization achieve the best possible outcomes, while also providing  a more positive EHR experience to  end users overall.

-Litisha Turner, MS, BSN, RN

Clinical Consultant

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