Utilizing the Master Training Schedule Tool – Benefits and Limitations
The goal of my research project is to develop an effective schedule for the deployment of a vast amount of class offerings in a short period of time required in the implementation of EPIC, a new electronic health record for LVHN and its community. This summer, I was tasked with building a master training schedule that would meet demands for occupancy, dates, and room availability. My research began with utilizing materials from EPIC, communicating with the Instructional Designers on their curriculum and creating my own formulas within Excel to meet my objective of creating an effective course schedule. Using a combination of the tools provided to me and through my own research, I was able to produce a viable EPIC Master Training Schedule.
Early next year, Lehigh Valley Health Network will be making the change to EPIC, an integrated electronic health record (EHR). The major benefit of this implementation is to merge many stand-alone applications into one comprehensive system for improved patient record accessibility across the care continuum. While EPIC will be the catalyst that facilitates greater effective care, it also requires every employee to participate in required training to use the system to its full potential. Therefore, to provide training, a master schedule is needed to manage the large volumes of classes. My research project this summer is to determine is the Master training schedule template provided by EPIC is useful in terms of assessing occupancy, high demand dates, and room availability for effectively training a large end user population.
While my final project was to put together this schedule, there were other pieces that needed to be completed and reviewed. Along with the schedule template provided by EPIC, a training calculator was also provided. The training calculator is an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the number of classes needed to deliver each application’s curriculum to a specific group of users based on the total number of end users, seats in the classroom, and available trainers.
Upon my arrival, I began working with an EPIC Training Specialist to gather the necessary data for the master schedule. In order to access the documents and templates that were needed, the use of EPIC’s UserWeb needed to be granted. The EPIC UserWeb is a repository that allows users within the system to contact and reach out to one another with questions or concerns. Along with the message board, the UserWeb allows access to Galaxy, a database for documents and templates that have been provided by EPIC. Included in the provided materials are the two templates that I downloaded to the EPIC SharePoint site and worked closest with; the master training schedule and the training calculator. After reviewing these two documents, correspondence was needed with the Instructional Designers (ID) to obtain unique information for their respective applications. This information included training tracks based on user roles within each Instructional Designer’s application curriculum matrix and the total block of time that each user would need to spend in training. With the learner in mind, I took the total hours and broke them down into acceptable class lengths. For example, a course that requires 12 hours of training would translate into 3 classes that each lasted 4 hours. Using the information from the curriculum matrices, I populated the designated areas in the training calculator to arrive at an estimated number of classes that would need to be offered. After logging this information, it was discovered that the calculator generated a good starting point, but lacked a deeper dive into the data that was needed to compile a thorough course schedule. While the calculator gave a total number of required classes, it did not consider the necessity of separating the classes into a 5-week training period. At this juncture, I reached out to the UserWeb to see if other EPIC clients had also had this difficulty and if or how they had fixed it. Unfortunately, there were no responses that met my need, and I had to pursue the optimization myself. To meet the need of an evenly spaced schedule, I looked at ways to ensure that the amount of required classes was being met while keeping the number of classes per week at an acceptable level. By crunching numbers, I was able to reach a level of percentages that allowed the schedule to meet the needed criteria. It was at this point that I began investigating the advanced capability of Excel. Using my research, I was able to make my table of percentages more useful by linking cells within the training calculator to allow an auto-fill option to avoid entering and re-entering data. By implementing this formula, I was able to divide the number of needed classes into an evenly distributed training schedule.
In working on this project, I discovered that while the tools provided by EPIC are an adequate starting point, they required more depth for a client the size of LVHN. After implementing the formula I created, the Training Calculator was much more helpful in providing information for the Master Training Schedule. Some difficulties that I encountered during this process could be addressed to make the process more user friendly for another client. For instance, when compiling data for training tracks, information from ID’s should be fully completed to avoid re-entering data and to allow the ability to more effectively build the schedule.
After compiling the necessary facets, I was able to create a master training schedule considering the needed criteria. Using a template that was provided by the EPIC Training Specialist which included available rooms and time frames, I used the numbers that were calculated from the formula to populate the schedule. Taking in mind these restrictions and a method of staggering classes that was suggested to me, it was fairly simple to generate a comprehensive schedule. This project gave me the opportunity to create a formula that could possibly help other EPIC clients build their own schedules in the future. I was able to utilize my skills to consider the needs of the customer and create a product that met the requirements of the company while making it accessible and manageable to the learner.
Published In/Presented At
Wanamaker, J., (2014, July, 25) Utilizing the Master Training Schedule Tool – Benefits and Limitations. Poster presented at LVHN Research Scholar Program Poster Session, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA.
Research Scholars, Research Scholars - Posters