Is Resistance Futile in Health IT? KSAs in Health IT Education

KSAs? For my readers who are healthcare people, you may ask, “What are KSAs?”

For readers who are training people, you know that KSAs are Knowledge, Skills and Atttitude. You can teach KSAs.

Here are some examples of teaching KSAs in Health IT:

  • Knowledge training includes compliance training. Health IT learners need to know the laws that govern the use of electronic health information such as HIPAA regulations regarding the use of personal health information. Some trainers I’ve worked with call this “head knowledge”.
  • Skills training includes the actual, hands-on software training. Learners experience how to sign on to an application, which fields must be filled in, and how to access, save and send information. Providers learn how to use a laptop or tablet in patient interactions so the device does not interfere with the relationship.
  • Attitude training includes what are known as “soft skills” in the parlance of human resources. Soft skills include things like leadership, empathy, management of self/others/projects. In health IT, attitude training includes change management techniques such as finding champions of an IT implementation and sending them out on the floor to make sure people are on board with the implementation. Soft skills health IT training includes managing the people, timelines and workflow, making sure there is a smooth transition.

You can lead an HCP to health IT, but can you make them think? Think what? This is where attitude training enters:

  • Think about the value of gathering the correct patient information for high-quality care
  • Think about the overall efficiency of gathering information to be disseminated to other caregivers who might be outside your immediate care team – say the dentist and the ophthalmologist
  • Think about the value of patient data to researchers in the fields of cardiology, oncology and neurology (just as examples) based on the accurate information you have entered about the patient in front of you
  • Think about the correct clinical protocol returned to you when you enter patient information into the system

Question: Are you employees trained in essential soft skills related to health IT? Would it help?

The Borg in Start Trek said, “Resistance is futile.” In health IT, resistance is probably futile in the long run. But in the short and medium run, resistance has probably slowed progress.

I would appreciate your feedback on whether you are doing soft skills training for your health IT implementation.

Please leave a comment or email me at I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this issue.


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