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How to Estimate EMR Training Costs

How to Estimate EMR Training Costs
08 September 2016

It can be difficult for a healthcare organization to estimate the cost of an EMR implementation, let alone individual components such as training. However, the ability to predict and estimate EMR training costs can immensely influence training road maps, expectations, and even the overall success of an electronic medical records system implementation. Planning a budget and a timeline, and meeting those parameters, affects every other implementation process moving forward, which is why estimating EMR training costs should become a priority early on.

Estimating EMR Training Costs

One of the first factors to identify when estimating what EMR training will cost is the nature of both the EHR system and the training strategies you will employ. For example, training price differences will naturally exist between a server-based system hosted in-house vs. a SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud-based system. Strategies such as individual vs. group training or a combination of the two, methods of training (classroom or web-based), and selected timelines will also affect the price of EMR training.

Breaking Down Training Cost Elements

Breaking down the cost elements affecting the price of EMR training can help you begin to build a budget for this critical process. First, vendors often can provide training packages depending on your needs. Similarly, other independent medical records system trainers can provide varying levels of support. Travel expenses and other related costs for trainers and trainees must also be included in an overall training budget, and are easily overlooked. In addition, the costs of downtime and overtime for these individuals must be considered: are providers and staff members committing extra time on top of their daily functions to train, or will temporary hires fill gaps created during training? These direct and indirect sources of cost must be considered to draw up a realistic training budget.

How much will it cost me?

EMR Costs
       Estimating EMR Training Costs

As stated above, there are many factors that influence the price of EMR training, and therefore create significant variability in cost. Even so, estimates do exist based on specific implementations within hospital systems to serve as a model for initial estimates.

An ONC publication on EHR cost and implementation investigated the HealthTexas Provider Network’s training costs, broken down by organizational tiers. At the largest management tier, the network implementation team’s training cost $3,067, requiring a total of 73.5 hours. The 52.5 hours of training for the practice implementation team cost $2,777, and finally, $1,538 was spent on 23.9 hours of end user training (per physician) at individual primary care practices.

Not only can estimating EMR training costs help set the stage for a successful implementation, but budgeting properly for training can save both time and financial investment down the road. At ZH Healthcare, we understand the value of training as a critical part of EHR implementation. Our services such as blueEHR include tailored training resources to fit the unique needs of your practice, and our experts are readily available to discuss budgeting for training and the ultimate success of your EHR implementation.

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