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From Novice to Expert: Mastering Healthcare IT Solutions in One Year

One year ago, I started with Azara Healthcare on the Clinical Transformation team. I remember my first day like it was yesterday – walking through the glass doors of our Burlington office overflowing with nerves and excitement. I found my way to a conference room, met the energetic and smiling faces that would soon become my colleagues, and kicked off my onboarding. It was in that conference room that I was introduced to DRVS for the very first time. I was absolutely bewildered by its capabilities, the smooth interface, and the stories from clients who were leveraging it every day to make an impact in their communities. But as I continued to explore, my wide eyes got even wider, and my sense of awe quickly turned into that of panic. How in the world am I going to learn all this functionality? How do I get back to that dashboard? What codes qualify for this measure? What is a registry again?

It's rewarding to reflect on the past year and recognize how far I’ve come in terms of my comfort level and expertise with DRVS. Not only do I know what a registry is, but I train on them daily. This proficiency, however, did not come overnight. By dedicating time to get to know the functionality and leaning heavily on the resources available in our DRVS Help section, I was able to work my way up to the competency level that I am operating at today.  

If you’re reading this, there’s a chance that you’re new to your organization and trying to onboard to DRVS alongside all the other technology your practice is using. Or you might belong to a practice that is implementing DRVS and not only are you trying to understand how it works, but you’re strategizing how it might integrate into your existing workflows and operations. Regardless of your starting gate, you may be experiencing the same new-user panic that I felt a year ago. If that’s you, I’m here to confidently say that it’s only up from here! In this blog, I will share some of the approaches I took and resources I utilized to gain comfort in and establish my mastery of DRVS.

Consider the Type of Learner You Are

One of the most invaluable resources available through DRVS is our Help section. DRVS Help is chock full of user guides, webinar recordings, quick tip clips, playbooks, and more. It is so robust that you might even have a difficult time figuring out where to begin. The approach that I found useful in my learning process was turning to resources that aligned best with my learning style.

Auditory & Visual Learners: You might be the type of person who learns best when the information is spoken out loud and connected to the larger picture. In this case, I would recommend listening to and watching our recorded webinars. Azara hosts webinars on a weekly basis and the content tackles the full spectrum of DRVS capabilities – using and implementing the PVP, changes to UDS measures and how to review your mapping admin, supports available within DRVS for PCMH reporting – the list goes on. Not only do these webinars walk users through how to traverse DRVS, but they contextualize the content in the programs, grants, or goals that your organization may be pursuing.

Kinesthetic Learning: If you learn best when you’re able to carry out a physical activity to practice applying new information, look no further than our User Guides. In our Help section, you can find User Guides that address all core and extended functionality, taking the user step by step through executing tasks within DRVS. Kinesthetic learners will also appreciate our Quick Tip Clips. These videos are perfect if you’re looking for an easy solution to a specific question. Our Help section currently features over 40 quick tip clips, and we are continuously releasing more.

Give Yourself an “Observation Period”

When onboarding to DRVS, I found it exceptionally helpful to approach the content first from an observational perspective. I dropped the pressure to know where to click, how to add a filter, and what button did what and shifted my attention to the functionality that I was excited about. I asked myself, how might this functionality support various roles within an organization? How might staff make use of this tool to streamline workflows and support continuity of care? Before getting caught up in the nitty gritty, take the time to let the possibilities wash over and inspire you. Set up time to brainstorm with colleagues about what functionality is most relevant to your role, the grant you’re reporting against, or the patients in front of you. 

Put Your Learning into Action

Once you’ve identified the resources in DRVS Help that align best with your learning style and given yourself the chance to explore what’s possible within DRVS, you can direct your attention to fine tuning your skills. As you begin to build your muscle memory and focus on the mechanics, I recommend turning to the following resources:

DRVS 101 Webinar: Whether you’re watching this webinar live or playing back the recording, pull up DRVS on your screen and follow along with the presenter. This webinar is designed to take you through the basics and establish your baseline so that you leave with some core, practical skills. 

Getting Started with DRVS: You may or may not be aware that we have an entire section of DRVS Help dedicated to new users. This sequence of overviews takes about 1-2 hours to complete but can be done at your own pace. Each section covers a new piece of functionality and comes equipped with exercises, allowing to you immediately practice and apply what you’ve learned.

Role-Based One-Pagers: It may not always be simple to communicate to your point-of-care team the value of DRVS when there are so many other platforms they’re expected to use. Even more challenging is finding the time to train them! It is for this reason that we developed role-based one-pagers for providers and MAs that specifically highlight functionality designed to make their lives easier. Consider printing and distributing these one-pagers to serve as a quick reference sheet for your care teams. 

Configuring DRVS & Additional Topics: As you build upon your skills, consider folding in more advanced DRVS content. Go beyond simply learning about the functionality available to you to instead configuring each tool to support your practice’s unique goals, quality objectives, and patient populations. You might also visit the Additional Topics section for an introduction to functionality from the perspective of specific clinical focus areas. For example, utilizing DRVS to identify and address racial disparities in care delivery, deploying DRVS’ ASCVD Risk Calculator to address cardiovascular disease among your patients, or leveraging functionality to help your team manage Medicaid redetermination.

Don’t Shy Away From…

As you become more comfortable with DRVS, don’t shy away from…

Playing around in DRVS. One of the best features of DRVS is that you literally cannot break it. Anything that’s been created can be deleted. Anything that’s been mapped get be remapped or unmapped. While the same cannot be said for you EHR, don’t let that internalized fear stop you from exploring, creating resources, and having some fun! Changes you make within DRVS will have no impact on the EHR or your patient records.

Connecting with your Network (PCA, HCCN, IPA, etc.). If you are a practice supported by a PCA or HCCN, do not hesitate to reach out for additional guidance, best practices, and warm handoffs to other practices working to support their communities and deliver against common goals.

Reaching out to us at Azara. If you ever find yourself stuck or confused about functionality or your data, always feel welcome to reach out to an Azara team member – that’s what we’re here for! Whether it’s the person who led your implementation, your trainer from the Clinical Transformation team, or our support team, we are all here to make sure you feel comfortable and confident navigating, configuring, and leveraging DRVS.

Attend our Annual User Conference. There is nothing quite like in person connection. At our annual user conference, which takes place April 30-May 2, 2024 in Boston, attendees will have the opportunity to meet Azara staff and connect with colleagues from around the country to learn about how they are using DRVS every day to make a meaningful impact on their patients and in their communities.

Moving into my next year using DRVS, I recognize that I will remain in a state of constant learning. DRVS is an exceptionally powerful tool with endless creative opportunities to change the way that care is delivered. Especially as organizations unlock of the power of advanced integration with enrollment, claims, and HIE data, I look forward to learning more about the profound ways practices are using DRVS to deliver against value-based care contracts, advance their care management programs, and drive improved health outcomes among patients.

As I continue to expand my expertise, I plan to return to some of these tried-and-true approaches and resources. I hope that by sharing these recommendations with you that I can help curb some of your new-user panic and remind you just how approachable and valuable DRVS can be.