It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Super User!

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Lori Shifferd By Lori Shifferd 
Implementation Manager, McKesson

Home Health Software Implementation Super UserThey don’t wear capes or tights, but super users are every organization’s secret weapon when it comes to new software rollouts. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines super users as employees who are given extra training so they can serve as trainers, provide technical support and champion the use of the home health software system. Note that these are not IT folks; they’re clinicians prepared to help other clinicians.

Identifying super users is the first step, and it should ideally be done during the final implementation phase. Look for clinicians who are tech savvy and enthusiastic about the new system. They’ll need to spend time in specialized training and be willing to make themselves available at certain times of day to answer questions during training and rollout.

Remember to include a line item for super users in your rollout budget. Even if you can use internal folks rather than hiring from the outside, there’s a cost associated with their temporary reallocation. Our own experience echoes the advice of industry experts like Gene Marks, who says the cost is worth it to ensure a smooth rollout. If enough new users get frustrated with the system or executives begin receiving reports with errors, IT will quickly get overwhelmed, and the rollout may veer off course unless super users are there to steer it back.

The best news is that research clearly shows the positive effect super users have on clinical information system implementations. According to AHRQ, the effects of super users are far reaching.

The report found that super users not only provide just-in-time training at the point the staff are doing actual work, they also enhance employee perceptions about the usefulness and ease of use of the new system.

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