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Stories & Snapshots

Community Perspective: Empowering Medical Residents to Make an Impact

Peer-to-peer resident training at UW Health leads to higher physician satisfaction

When Dr. Shannon Dean began her role as a physician informaticist in 2008 at UW Health in Wisconsin, she took on a passion project: rethinking training to help residents hit the ground running.

After seeing the importance of residents in UW Health’s successful Epic implementation, she started a resident “super user” program to empower physicians with EHR tools beginning in their first years of practice.

As a practicing physician, Shannon understood firsthand that providers well-versed in the EHR were happier and more successful.

Ten years later, the KLAS Arch Collaborative found that UW Health’s physicians are highly satisfied with their EHR. A sense of ownership is a proven component of such high satisfaction, according to KLAS, and Shannon, now UW Health CMIO, has fostered that ownership with programs like the resident super user program.

“Efficiency tips and training from a colleague have made a big difference,” Shannon said. “It gives residents a sense of shared ownership and a voice in something that has a huge impact on their day-to-day work.”

The success of the program has inspired changes in onboarding for new faculty, including more specialized peer-to-peer training and an expansion in the physician informatics team. It’s also had a ripple effect beyond UW Health, as program alumni draw from their experiences to inform resident training at other organizations and take leadership roles in IT.

“We’ve seen the benefits of peer-to-peer training across UW Health,” Shannon said. “We prioritize initiatives that we know will have an impact on our providers’ well-being and success, because that’s where a healthy organization starts.”

Epic community members can learn more from parts one and two of Shannon’s chat with Epic trainer John Nelson for Epic Interviews, a series of conversations with physician leaders on how they address challenges and opportunities within their organization. You can also refer to the Boost Provider Happiness and Efficiency guide on the UserWeb for more information about tools and programs available from Epic.

“Community Perspective” is a series of stories from leaders in the Epic community about how their work in healthcare technology relates to their personal missions to serve their patients and transform healthcare delivery.