The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we all do things. How we work, communicate, and problem solve looks quite different from what most of us are used to. However, what I’ve seen over the past several months reminds me that necessity really is the mother of invention — and reinvention. The crisis is challenging us to innovate and reengineer for this new reality.
For MEDITECH, supporting our customers has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority. EHR implementations and updates are events that have required a great deal of coordination and reciprocal communication to be successful. And we’ve found that by using technologies for virtual learning, we have been able to improve our processes and keep customers on schedule, while still keeping people safe in the age of social distancing.
If you can earn a college degree online, why shouldn’t you be able to learn EHR skills the same way?
As a company, we have used technology for remote education of new hires and customers for years. So we knew we could transition much of our implementation work and training to a virtual format, as long as we took an approach that was truly agile, cross-divisional, and collaborative. We had to make sure we put the right infrastructure and tools for our staff in place — as well as clearly communicate with our customers on what to expect with virtual learning.
The results so far have exceeded my expectations. As of May 21st , we had already conducted over 500 virtual training sessions — primarily dictionary and application training, as well as some post-LIVE optimization work. We saw Valley Hospital bring Oncology LIVE and Methodist Rehabilitation Center bring their nurses and physicians LIVE on PCS and PCM — all supported virtually. Working together, we established new procedures for a Virtual Command Center and Virtual Rounding, and put them into practice just as if we were physically on site. As difficult as this crisis has been for so many of us, it was inspiring to see our staff and customers join forces to get it all done.
As we prepare to bring more sites LIVE with virtual training, we have been reviewing lessons learned along the way in order to continuously improve the experience for customers. A MEDITECH task force has been discussing what the post-COVID-19 future may look like, and how we can build on the processes we have designed and put into practice for this unusual time. I could easily see our standard implementation plans including a balanced mix of both virtual and in-person training, to get the maximum benefit.
Probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve personally learned is that even during difficult times, innovation never stops. In fact, creative problem solving may be accelerated. Working together with customers, we’ve been able to come up with solutions that will enhance the way we do implementations from now on. And even though the future is uncertain, it’s reassuring to know that healthcare can and will adapt to whatever society needs in that moment.
Thank you to our customers for your collaborative efforts, and for continuing to do all you can to keep us safe and healthy!