Clinical team members of all roles need training in order to implement ePRO workflow steps and integrate ePRO data into care delivery. Training is often underappreciated and overlooked for various health IT systems, including ePROs, which may be deceptively labeled as intuitive. Excellent training for ePROs is not only about the transfer of necessary information for using the ePRO technology, but also about the mastery of interpreting ePRO reports and using the reports in the patient/provider communication process (especially in the context of shared decision-making).
Sample Learning Objectives for ePRO Training
At the end of ePRO training, clinical teams should be able to:
- Describe the value of ePROs for care delivery
- Define the context for ePRO use (e.g. which patients, what timepoints, what settings of care)
- Specify goals for successful ePRO use
- Understand how to use ePRO functionality (deploy, collect, track, review, document)
- Understand how to integrate ePROs into decision-making and/or the clinical encounter
- Identify resources to navigate barriers to ePRO use in real world practice
- Adapt current practice to accommodate ePRO integration
It is important that training for clinical teams reflects each of the five core workflow activities (deploy, collect, track, review, document). Training should also consider multiple dimensions of knowledge needed by care team members, including the context and value of ePROs, ePRO project goals, technical knowledge (i.e., how to use ePRO functionality), and needed adaptations to current practice to accommodate ePRO integration.
Project teams should utilize training strategies that best address the needs of different clinical team member roles and are considerate of their availability to engage in training, which may be limited. This may include both informal (e.g., mentoring) and formal training (e.g., training video(s), job aid, lunch and learn). Project teams should also invest in evaluating training effectiveness, for example by assessing team members’ satisfaction with training, understanding of content, and performance resulting from training.
Of note, not all providers may have experience using ePRO data in practice, and the introduction of this new data source may raise provider concerns around the timeliness and appropriateness of their response to ePRO data. Provider engagement in ePRO data use should be a key component of the project team’s training strategy. Project teams may want to pair provider training on ePRO use with additional training to support collaborative or shared decision-making, as well as training that embeds ePRO use within the broader context of care delivery (for example, aligning ePROs with an existing care pathway).