Training: The Portal Success Insurance Policy
The third of a three-part post on ensuring a smooth transition for your referring clinician customer base to a new radiology portal. Christine Boehms HawkinsWhen it’s time to train your referring clinicians and their staff on your new portal you have several options. You have to think about the right method based on your clinician. You could do a training session on site, or over the phone, or an online meeting. You could develop a short video demonstration of how to use the system; you can host it on Youtube, or your web site and e-mail the video link. You could also record an online training session using a tool like GoToMeeting, post the recording on your web site and e-mail the presentation link. You could simply e-mail the training guide and user tips documents. For imaging centers, it is recommended you conduct on-site training for your high volume referrers to ensure they completely understand how to use and accept the new portal. Key training steps:
  • Make sure clinicians’ computers/laptops and browser are compatible with new portal software ahead of time
  • Uninstall the old portal software – you may need to work with their IT department
  • Install any new software as needed – you may need to work with their IT department
  • Set up the portal icon on their desktop so they can easily click on it to launch the log in screen, also provide the direct URL to the web application (some imaging providers include a log in from their web site as well) – you may need work with their IT department
  • Have the clinician set up their username and password (if this wasn’t done ahead of time)
  • Have the clinician log in to the portal and show the clinician how to use it, and customize his/her preferences as available
  • Repeat the same process for the clinician’s front desk staff if they will be asked to retrieve reports
  • Distribute electronic and hard copies of the training guide/user quick tips (lamination helps) to the clinician and staff. Make sure your facility logo, site information, and contact information for portal support are listed on the documents. Typically user guides will include key steps in order of when/how they happen with a description and application screen shot example.
Evaluation and Follow Up Check user portal user access logs to see if your clinicians are using the new portal. Check procedure volumes by referrer to see if any referrer has dropped off after the portal roll out. Visit or call the clinician to understand what happened and how to resolve the issue if you do see reduced volume. Additional training may be needed. Visit or call periodically to see how the staff feels about the new portal. If you do get support calls, make sure your staff answering the phones knows exactly who to send the calls to in order to help clinicians with portal issues. Marketing and Promotion There are several ways in which you can promote your new referring clinician portal and differentiate your imaging service offering. You have made the investment in new technology in order to provide faster and better service to your referrers so they can treat patients more effectively. Communicate the features and benefits of your RIS/PACS/Portal in the following vehicles:
  • Press Release – Distribute a press release to the local media to announce the launch of your new referring clinician portal and the benefits to your clinicians
  • Update your Web site with features/benefits of your RIS/PACS/Portal
  • Update your brochure with features/benefits of your RIS/PACS/Portal
  • Distribute an E-mail to your clinician base
  • Distribute a letter to your clinician base
  • Hospitals:
    • Invite staff clinicians to the radiology department for a kick off meeting where you can demonstrate how to access the new portal and its key features. Have refreshments and a cake to make it fun.
    • Create a flyer to post on staff bulletin boards.
    • Include a message in the hospital newsletter, or other communications vehicles.
    • Display a poster near the radiology department touting your new technology tool and the benefits.
Change is never easy, but with proactive communications and good preparation you won’t lose any referring clinicians and will, hopefully, increase user adoption of your new radiology portal. Read Part One Where's the patient Read Part Two Implementation, and the Advance Guard Christine Boehm Hawkins, is president, Jump Start Consulting, a full-service marketing consulting firm specializing in the health care/imaging industry;