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Easing the EHR Transition by User Group

Easing the EHR Transition by User Group

With the implementation of a new EHR in a dental practice it is imperative that each individual user receive the training they need to successfully utilize the software. Although there is a learning curve, not every employee will require access to the same type of training or resources when adapting to the new system. It can be helpful for the practice to divide users into groups when designing training programs or selecting the type of EHR to implement. These three broad categories describes the characteristics of the users and outline the type of support they may need.

Digital Natives
Users in this category tend to be young and highly computer literate. They are able to multitask effectively, utilize multiple devices at once and are unlikely to have a history of working with paper charts. They may get frustrated with the slow pace of training and prefer to access online resources rather than guided tutorials. Additionally, they show a strong preference toward modern hosted EHR systems as they are familiar with cloud services.

Caught in the Middle
These users form the bulk of dental professionals. They have used paper charts extensively but are also comfortable with computers and mobile devices. They have developed computer skills but it may take them a bit longer than the first group to adapt to the new software. Their learning style benefits from live training and demonstrations of the actual software, and they may need a bit of additional support with EHRs that incorporate mobile access and multi device usage.

Moving Away from Paper Charts Pushes Comfort Zone
This group typically includes users who are older and very comfortable with using paper charts. It may be more difficult for them to multitask between the patient and the EHR software or to adapt to using mobile devices. We suggest that the training for this group be made up of two phases – getting comfortable with computers and mobile devices (if they are not already) and then getting familiar with EHR workflows.

There are modern EHRs that have been designed to have a short learning curve and be accessible to all users regardless of their computer literacy with some that can even be customized for each user. This allows the software to be personalized and adapted to the needs and usage habits of the individual rather than requiring them to struggle with a confusing or out-of-date interface.


–  Pietro Di Battista

Pietro Di Battista

Dr. Pietro Di Battista, Dovetail Founder & Chief Executive Officer, runs a successful private periodontics practice, and is a senior lecturer at different dental venues, study clubs and professional conferences. Pietro has served as Director of Clinical Periodontology at McGill University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Concordia University, and a D.D.S. and a M.S.D. from Case Western Reserve University. His hobbies include hockey and mixed martial arts.