Tuesday, 27 October 2015 22:40

Virginia Health System Leveraging “Super Users” to Emphasize Importance of VBP

Written by Tristan Williams

The need to accurately measure and report on the quality of the care that a health system provides has never been more crucial to achieving success in the healthcare industry. Health systems and providers are adapting to the changing landscape, specifically as it pertains to a shift from fee-for-service to a value-based performance (VBP) payment model, in a number of ways. The new payment model requires additional efforts in collaboration, optimization, and engagement in order for providers in ambulatory practices to understand the nuances of VBP. Workflows also must be adapted to capture discrete data to ensure ease of reporting. 

At Bon Secours Virginia Medical Group (BSVMG), it quickly became evident that communicating these changes in workflows to the staff in the trenches would take a village of experts. The staffers who assist those who provide exceptional patient care here form an army of experts called “super users.”  These super users are embedded clinical support staff members who serve in each ambulatory practice. 

While any organization that has an Epic electronic health record (EHR) will recognize the term “super users,” BSVMG has developed and refined the program to produce representatives who function at a higher level of expectation and with greater accountability. These super users serve as a main conduit, not only for information coming into the practice, but also for information heading out of the practice. Each super-powered super user must have significant experience as a clinical staff member in an ambulatory practice. Members are recruited by leadership, with practice managers nominating clinical staff members who are proficient in Epic, with at least one year of Epic experience. In addition, each nominee must exhibit strong leadership skills. Once nominees are approved by a leadership selection committee, they are enrolled in super user training classes. 

This standardized training helps develop the proficiency of each super user by immersing them in a deep dive into the Epic electronic medical record system. Super users are trained in all workflow functionality, from patient check-in at the front desk to rooming by clinical support staff to the provider visit to check-out. This broad education gives the super users the tools they need to help staff in all practice positions with the use of the EHR.

Once done with training, super users take a proficiency exam and become “credentialed” super users.  The program is unique in that once the super users are back in the office, they are held accountable for delivering information to the practice. To assist with this, the program is led by a super user coordinator. The super user coordinator serves as a liaison between the system, groups, committees, and the super users to help distribute information to the end users in the practices. 

The super user coordinator also supports the program by providing continuous education to each super user, helping them in their roles as educators, troubleshooters, and liaisons in their practices. Super users must interpret the information they receive at three mandatory monthly meetings into a language that practice staff can easily understand. By using this pyramid model of communication, a large number of staff members can be reached across a large geographical area quickly and consistently. The super users are true partners with leadership in achieving quality-measure success. 

About the Author

Tristan Williams is the super user coordinator for the Bon Secours Virginia Medical Group and is responsible for over 100 super users across the Virginia market. Tristan has 19 years of experience in healthcare in a variety of backgrounds.  She is EpicCare Ambulatory-certified and enjoys working in the electronic age of healthcare.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 01:48