IT 'super users' ease hospital culture change

The employment or internal training of IT "super users"--individuals who are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology use--is becoming a common practice at hospitals looking to change their IT culture, according to an article in the February CMIO magazine.

For instance, Michigan State University recently implemented a program to train 22 physician super users and 17 staff super users in using electronic medical records to meet Meaningful Use. The super users receive 26 hours of classroom training, according to CMIO, then tasked with providing support for other providers at the hospital. The trained super users are paid an $80-per-hour stipend for the classroom time and receive an additional 10 percent paid time for helping to train other providers, MSU chief medical information officer Michael Zaroukian told the magazine.

Overall costs for the internal training amount to less than 20 percent of the expected incentive payments, Zaroukian added.

Meanwhile, San Mateo (Calif.) Medical Center instituted a similar program in 2009 during its EMR go-live. Out of 80 trained super users, the hospital identified, a year into the program, select "champion super users" who have even deeper training and supervise others, Chief Medical Information Officer Michael Aratow said.

Super users can help ease hospital or system-wide initiatives, as demonstrated in recent cases. FierceEMR in December reported on super users who implemented a computerized physician order entry system at all 26 Adventist Health System hospitals during a 28-month span. Similarly, medical practices found training of super users to be successful in implementing e-prescribing systems, FiercePracticeManagement reported in October.

To learn more:
- read the full CMIO article on super users

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