How are Epic Trainers being impacted by Quarterly Upgrades?

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There has been a lot of conversation around analysts completing work associated with Epic’s quarterly releases. We are coming up on another release and several clients are still looking at variations of project vs maintenance staffing models to meet their needs. For an analyst, we’ve seen scope of work that includes Nova note and change control reviews, building, testing, and implementing. What I had not heard a lot about is what are clients doing for training? I had a few great conversations this week with both clients and clinical Epic trainers in regards to quarterly upgrades and thought a few items where worth discussing.

Epic has committed to minimal functionality and workflow impact with each release. The point of the quarterly releases is to keep the upgrades simple and less stressful for the analysts and end users. Rotation of specific applications will also assist with keeping other projects and initiatives uninterrupted. However, the trainers have a big task in front of them due to the typical interdependency of cross clinical applications. Their scope is not only to update current curriculum materials and training environments, but also a significant amount of development of training tools across multiple applications. Regular development of quick reference guides, cheat sheets, eLearnings, and other tools will certainly be a big commitment. Therefore, coordination of efforts across teams will be essential and Superusers will play a key role in end user support.

Post implementation staffing models for training teams are typically reduced to a single PT per application, and sometimes one PT for several modules. Superusers will be imperative in supporting quarterly upgrades for both training of end users and go-live support as the trainers will be owning many moving parts during each cycle. With quarterly releases the impact of operations needs to be considered as Superusers are pulled from their duties to attend training and support the piers for several days. This is not anything new to Epic clients, but is certainly a more regular usage of employees in the Superuser role.

As a consultant there is opportunity here for sure. There are a lot of firms who have stepped up with development of methodologies and staffing models to support these quarterly upgrades, including activation and training. Clients are looking for solutions from firms that can provide coverage that allows their teams to continue with other priorities and commitments to their internal departments/customers. Epic is routinely offering their Boost program as a solution as well. Internally they will still need to directly participate in note reviews, workflow agreements, and superuser support…but the reduction in day to day work associated with regular upgrades is making a positive impact all around with these solutions.  Be sure to understand what your firm is doing to assist clients in these areas.

Have you been involved with quarterly upgrade support? What types of models are you seeing clients use? Share your comments below.

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