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HIStalk Innovator Showcase–OptimizeHIT 10/28/11

October 28, 2011 News 6 Comments

 10-28-2011 8-37-25 PM

Company Name: ImplementHIT
Address: 4001 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89103
Wen Address: www.optimizehit.com
Telephone: 888.457.3332
Year Founded: 2009
FTEs: 20

Elevator Pitch

OptimizeHIT provides an innovative training platform that enables both pre- and post-implementation training to significantly drive clinical adoption via a more comprehensive, yet easy way for physicians to access the training curriculum.

Business and Product Summary

OptimizeHIT offers a sophisticated, physician-friendly, dynamic EHR training portal. OptimizeHIT’s staff, comprised of MD EHR experts and PhDs in education, have developed innovative, patent-pending learning technologies that integrate seamlessly with any practice setting or specialty. With proper EHR training significantly impacting the success or failure of any implementation, OptimizeHIT’s training suite delivers powerful and relevant training that is easy for physicians to access, significantly reducing the time they spend out of clinic to learn how to use the EHR.

With this technology, organizations are realizing higher rates of clinical adoption beyond Meaningful Use, with a bonus of significant cost savings via a reduction in trainer hours consumed during live training time and time physicians spend out of clinic for training. Management can view learner progress on training as well as their productivity in graphical form, using real-time implementation statistics, and objectively understand the status of each site’s implementation. The solution can also allow on-site support to customize each physician’s learning curriculum to their specific knowledge gaps, keeping their learning time focused on what is most needed for them to learn.

Our cost model is based on per month/per user charge, which can accommodate a small physician’s practice or clinic as well as large, multi-location hospitals. Furthermore, we recently introduced a new no-risk pricing model, where there is no cost per user till a user actually completes their basic EHR training. Once a user becomes an intermediate or advanced user, the EHR benefits to patient safety and ROI quickly climb in to the $1000s per provider.

10-28-2011 8-19-07 PM

Target Customer

Large academic hospitals all the way through two-physician practices use this solution successfully.

Customer Problem Solved

Clinical adoption. It is when physicians achieve intermediate- and advanced-level use of an EHR that the greatest patient safety benefits and cost savings are realized. Our portal is built specifically for health IT training, recognizing the unique challenges of training physicians and other healthcare professionals with very little spare time. We are not only getting physicians ready for Meaningful Use Stage 1, but later phases and beyond. Customers live with the portal can easily distribute system upgrade training, new best practices, and even ICD-10 training when the time is right.


Other groups that provide standard EHR training with go-live being the end point, like most EHR vendors and a few specialized service consultant groups. However, no one else offers a solution that targets post-implementation training, and that is where you achieve the most efficient leaps in EHR use.

Advantages Over Competitors

We don’t recommend moving all pre-implementation training online, but through a hybrid approach that was featured at HIMSS this February in a presentation by one of our customers. We want to minimize the amount of time physicians must spend out of clinic to learn. Furthermore, we know that physicians learn more advanced features of the EHR a lot faster once they have had an opportunity to use an EHR, which is why our portal integrates the more comprehensive post-implementation training. By providing one integrated solution for pre- and post-implementation training, along with enabling implementation management to see learning and productivity progress in real time, we are much better than any competitor.

The system is also task-based, which means it is more relevant to the learner instead of talking about EHR modules that are abstract for beginner users. Furthermore, because it is task-based and since we deliver standard EHR tasks from beginner to advanced — including Meaningful Use for 10 specialties — the effort to customize the learning content down to the physician specialty is greatly reduced, which makes the content far more relevant and meaningful to the learner.

Pitch Video Created Specifically for this Showcase

Customer Interview (an applications trainer for a large orthopedic practice)

What problems have you solved using the OptimizeHIT technology and what has been the overall impact on the practice?

The first problem solved by using OptimizeHIT’s computer-based training (CBT) modules was improving our training model as we began to prepare our EHR rollout. We were looking at hours of preparation and actual classroom training time with users who were all over the map in terms of PC skills. It was a daunting project and would have required users to be out of clinic and coming in for Saturday training classes as well, which would have meant overtime for some employees. While we still had a few Saturday classes, it was held to a minimum. Our providers never had to take time out of clinic and the overtime was also kept to a minimum.

Anyway, then I was introduced to Andres by a friend, and as soon as I started talking with him, I knew we would work together. His company created customized CBT modules for us using our workflow and screens so that our users were learning how to use the EHR on screens that were our screens – it wasn’t a generic or canned version of training. They worked closely with us to make sure the training modules included great detail. We were able to put much of the responsibility for basic training on the users and they rose to the challenge. We did have to manage the process, checking to see that they were completing the CBTs and where they were weak so we could do focus training with them. But for the most part, our employees did a great job. For those who needed a bit of encouragement, they got “the e-mail” reminding them their CBTs were mandatory.

As far as the impact on the practice, I would say that our users, especially our medical assistants, were well prepared on their first day of live. By the end of the first week, they were fairly confident users. We intentionally designed the training process so that the medical assistants could act as a resource for their providers and they do just that.

If you were talking to a peer from another practice, what would you say about your experience with OptimizeHIT?

To be honest, I’d say don’t even try to train your users without really well designed CBTs, and that you can’t go wrong with OptimizeHIT. They are professional, efficient, epitomize customer service, and even more, they are kind and are comfortable with humor. It was just fun to work with this company and we ended up with an excellent product. I have said exactly that to other organizations.

For those of us who have been in this field for a few years, we have recognized for years that end user training/education is the great hole in the process of implementing healthcare software. Vendors have not, historically, educated the clients (there’s a difference between training and education) and in turn, the clients do not understand the importance of educating their users. With healthcare records, you want confident, accurate users and that means educating them to use the system, but to also think about their use of it critically. Andres and OptimizeHIT focus on exactly that – they are combining adult educational concepts with technology and offer it to sites. 

We call it the gift that keeps on giving. Besides training users for our rollouts, we now use the CBTs for new hire training, upgrade training, user review etc. We are also looking forward to using their new tool to create a post-implementation educational process as a continuing education requirement for our clinical staff and providers.

How would you complete this sentence in summarizing for them: "I would recommend that you take a look at OptimizeHIT under these circumstances:"

If you are a mid- to large-size organization and have a small EHR build/training team, you will simply not be able to meet the demand of build, workflow design, workflow validation, and training. And if you don’t have anyone on staff that has a background in adult education, then you need to consider using this company.

If you’re planning on taking your users through a set of screens and allowing them to do hands-on once or twice – you cannot really consider them educated, and it will show when you take the system live. They will have no confidence and won’t even know when they are making a mistake, so they won’t be able to report it. It could be months or longer until you see that your users are failing to use the system accurately or efficiently.

An interview with Andres Jimenez MD, CEO, ImplementHIT

10-28-2011 8-06-10 PM

What’s wrong with the way organizations train physicians to use technology?

There are several issues. Implementation is typically the endpoint of most training curriculums designed for health IT implementations. The challenge is that without the user ever using a system, it’s impossible to teach them everything they will need to know to become an advanced user. Maybe not impossible, but extremely difficult and inefficient.

The challenge with trying to move your training over time to extend it beyond implementation is having a vehicle or a platform like ours to deliver just-in-time training that’s convenient, relevant, and very powerful for end users and extends beyond implementation and builds upon the experiential knowledge that users gain after the first week or two of using an EHR, where learning more advanced features is far more efficient.

Tell me about the technology that you use. I know you have or are seeking a patent.

It runs on Google Web Toolkit, Google Apps Engine. It’s kind of like Gmail for training. It essentially is real-time, Web-based technology. We’ve structured it in a way where it provides real-time statistics to management. It allows us to plug into practice management systems so we can deliver to learners who may be physicians. We can deliver to them real-time productivity metrics, like how many patients are they seeing per day, how is their increase in learning affecting the number of patients they’ve seen per day, how they’re billing, their level of coding. We’re able to pull that data real time. That’s one of the ways that’s very, very unique.

Very often, training and on-site support are two different processes going on in an implementation. We try to combine them, because we feel on-site support is a great opportunity to further the user’s knowledge on the system. We’ve provided input so that the on-site support personnel can continue to assist learners and then they can fine-tune or focus their training curriculum. If the doctor has 10 minutes or an hour to log in to the training programs late at night, they can focus in just on their specific knowledge gaps instead of starting from scratch. That’s another thing that I think is very innovative about the program.

We really feel that it’s going to become the future of health IT training, where it’s task-based, it’s not necessarily module-based. We can assign specific task-based skills that are usually on the two- to three-minute timeframe or are using bite-size training clips. We can assign specific ones to learners based on their role, based on their specialty, and even within two specialties that are different sites. We can customize training at that level. That makes it very relevant, and that’s very important for adult learners.

I’m sure one of the things that you’ve experienced both as a physician and an entrepreneur is that physicians typically don’t like to sit in a classroom with other physicians. Either they get frustrated with the pace or they just don’t feel like they’re being treated individually enough. Is what you’re offering an alternative to that, or is classroom training still a part of their experience? How do you feel about how classroom training works with doctors?

You’re absolutely right. That is one of the challenges that we hear from other physicians. I think on-site training still has an important role. One of our customers at HIMSS this past February presented some results where they were able to reduce the amount of training time, to cut training time in half because they had a Web-based component and a live training component.

Another one of our customers was able to train their physicians without any time out of clinic before the implementation. Now that doesn’t mean that they didn’t do any on-site live training, but what it means is that they were able to move a significant component of the pre-implementation curriculum to a Web-based component through our platform. Then they were able to focus in the on-site session just what the learner needed to go live and do well those first two weeks. Then, since they have the platform, they can allow the users to progress in their use and start learning more advanced functions at their own pace.

So I agree, the traditional on-site training approach has its weaknesses. A curriculum that only relies on that is part of the reason that you see so many implementations failing, because you can’t get that customization. But even on other types of computer-based training, we’re not the only ones that deliver a training online, but our platform allows to do it in a way where it’s very easy to customize it.

One of the other challenges that we see is that many vendors offer e-learning that is just a number of clips by modules in the EHR that are geared towards one specialty. If you’re a cardiologist, the last thing you want is sit down and watch training – especially when you’re having a busy day – with the clinical context of a kid with an ear infection and how to take care of him with the EHR. We make it easy to inject that relevance in training with our platform, which is extremely important for adult learning to get their interest piqued and  their attention level is high. They really learn, and when you want them to perform, they’re able to recall that information.

How do you convince a prospective client who plans to do their own training or pay the vendor to do it to that they need you instead?

We partner with many vendors, so we never want to go necessarily head-to-head with the vendors. They certainly have their place in providing training, but the challenge for most vendors is that they’re scrambling right now just to acquire market share. They haven’t necessarily been able to provide the focus needed on a very specialized approach on training. Not just training that gets them to use the basics, but that drives to Meaningful Use and beyond, where you get the advanced features and the greatest safety benefits for your patients and the greatest return on investment.

We typically tell our customers that we’re providing a platform that is very innovative. It will help your users get to advanced clinical adoption faster with less of an impact on overall productivity. One of our customers was able to get their physicians to full productivity about a week after implementation. That had a huge impact for them. They’re an orthopedic group and some of their physicians see 60 patients per day. We combine our training with the phased rollout approach to make sure that they can return to full productivity. Those are the things that are very important to a lot of customers.

Obviously cost is a factor. We’ve been able to show, for instance at HIMSS this past February, a return on investment of $6 for every $1 invested in our training. 

It’s important for our customers that this platform stays around for awhile. While they may have a cost incurred on just the implementation training, they’re working with the vendors, etc. our platform can stay around. They can start with Meaningful Use functionality and the platform, but right around the corner, there are updates from the vendor, ICD-10, and many other initiatives. They can build into the platform additional training. That’s been very important to our customers. They can do that on their own.

What do you hope to gain from this exposure?

We really feel that our platform is going to be future of health IT training. The fact that not all computer-based training is created equal, that our training specifically drives adoption, gets folks to full productivity faster, and we have a number of customers that have really appreciated and seen the benefits of that. 

What I’m hoping to get from the exposure is actually people getting the chance to hear about us. We’re a small organization, so we don’t have the advertising budgets or the large-scale sales team that existing companies have. Because we’re a smaller group and very innovative, we’ve been able to produce a platform that’s very cutting edge. We’re hoping with this exposure that we can get the word out and more people come on to our site and learn. We’re happy to provide more demonstrations and happy to connect prospects with existing customers, because they’ve been our greatest sales force to date.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. This is overdue and very important work… Having a e-learning platform that builds and streamlines workflows – molding clinical reality with technical possibility in innovative ways that increase efficiency while decreasing clinician’s pain-points is priceless.

  2. If anyone can give me a reasonable economic and accounting demonstration of how this increases patient safety to “over $1000 per clinician” I’d be very impressed. This may be a great way to train people to use the EHRs, (perhaps fabulous), but that is the worst made-up number I’ve seen in weeks. We don’t know the “cost/value” of patient safety. We know HAIs and “unclaimed” surgical tools cost a lot, but there’s no number on the value of patient safety per clinician. This is just silly.

  3. EHR activations are challenging events – anything to make them run smoother will reduce the time to productivity and increase patient safety. This platform provides a critically important “missing link” in the training workflow. The degree of customization that’s provided by Optimize HIT’s system means providers will be able to practice their specific skills in any time they can find, increasing compliance and satisfaction. This will certainly save me headaches, as an activation consultant! Bravo!

  4. OptimizeHit’s ability to deliver and create post implementation education, moving the clinical staff and providers from beginner level to advanced level users, will automatically translate to patient safety. Whether or not it’s a surgical tool or an EHR it’s the education of the user that impacts the safety of the patient. Not sure how this can be translated in $’s and cents; successful audits are invisible but failed audits with a fine of $100,000 or more could easily add up to more than $1000 per provider depending on the size of the practice.

  5. There are many gaps in training. I have used a few EHR’s now. The training was different on each one. I can now see the difference in the notes from clinician to clinician. It shows when someone has had experience with the notes and when someone has not. Those who have not had thorough training seem to make huge charting mistakes that can be costly either in the time it takes for the next clinician seeing the patient to sort it out or with the life of a patient where the documentation and orders were not accurate. They can also be costly from a billing standpoint if not used correctly.

    I remember my first training sessions with an EHR. I had quite a bit of computer knowledge and clinical knowledge, but putting it all together in an EHR had a huge learning curve. Once I learned the basics, things went much smoother and much quicker with each new system.

    Learning new things, particularly when they are manditory can be boring and even irritating for everyone. I have had instructors that could not stay focused to finish a thought in the EHR training making it difficult for anyone to learn. At times, training can either move too fast or too slow for our needs. Some in the class may not even be able to navigate around on the computer to turn it on, let alone navigate through an EHR. Then we have those who buzz through everything. Then we have those that tend to keep asking questions that may pertain to their practice but not ours, and we have to sit through it all. And it is true…some of the classes I have sat through had absolutely nothing to do with my practice. It seems that the more tailored we can make our learning the better training we will receive.

    Andres trained has me on an EHR in the past. He was great to work with then. He was and is on the cutting edge of how EHR training needs to be done.

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