Just about every week, I get at least one email from someone who wants to get certified in Epic Systems’ software. That’s not surprising considering that 1, Epic is about the hottest thing going in electronic health records in the US these days; and 2, there are some very steep barriers to getting access to the training. The main barrier to accessing Epic training is that you have to be associated with a hospital system who has signed a contract for their software. This means either working directly for a hospital system, or working for a consulting group who provides services to the healthcare entity. You can’t just call up Epic, pay for classes, and get on a plane to Madison where most of their training is held. You also cannot get access to Epic training material online. If you run into a company or individual who says that they can get access through some back channel or portal, you can bet it’s a scam.
The most obvious starting point is to get yourself hired by a hospital system that uses or will be implementing Epic. I have a couple of articles that have some strategies for getting entry-level IT positions at the end of this post, but for now, I want to share another valid channel that might also give you a shot. It’s called an Epic Credentialed Trainer. This position differs from the traditional Epic certification where you take several classes at Epic, then submit projects to Epic followed by really hard tests. The Credentialed Trainer does not travel to Epic to take classes. The program is designed to give you just enough exposure to Epic to be able to train beginning users.
To be an Epic Credentialed Trainer, you go through a training program at the hospital client where you will be offering training to users. The credential training lasts several weeks and is done with oversight of an Epic employee, although the hospital IT staff may do more of your training than the Epic person. You then have to:
- Pass a skills test,
- Create a sample of written training material,
- Demonstrate a training skill to a panel of staff at the organization, that will also include the Epic representative.
The process covers basic workflows and tasks that will be performed by clinicians, but does not have you building or configuring the system, as a certified analyst does. For that reason, the credential process is not nearly as difficult as the full Epic certification. The great news is that this can lead to a certified position if you are able to prove yourself to the organization. If you are reasonably intelligent and articulate, have good presentation skills and good people skills, then this could be your ticket to getting started in Healthcare IT.
The credentialing process is typically only good for that organization. If you go to a different hospital, you may have to go through the credentialing process again. Getting credentialed will give you an opening to train end-users on Epic at a hospital either on a temporary or permanent basis. You will probably be asked to teach in class and on site at various clinical locations such as primary care or specialty care offices, and hospital units.
Finding An Epic Credentialed Trainer Job
Once you have your credential, you should have no problem finding positions with hospitals by visiting the leading job search sites like Indeed and Monster. The challenge is finding healthcare organizations that will invest in you for the process to get credentialed in the first place. You can do this by searching for announcements of Epic signings, expansions of facilities, or even general news about an organization’s financial health. If you can connect with a thriving organization that is either in the process of implementing Epic, or is already live, then you have a good chance of being on their list when they have training needs. Be sure to have your LinkedIn profile updated with relevant experience and your desire to become an Epic Credentialed Trainer.
Epic Credentialed Trainer – Next Steps
Epic Trainer Jobs
Here is a quick search form that goes to the Indeed job search engine:
I have two posts that will help your take some practical steps to get your foot in the door at a hospital or other healthcare system. The post entitled “Make the Jump From CNA to Health IT” is a detailed roadmap that will work not just for CNAs and MAs, but anyone who wants a clear path to a Healthcare IT career.
The post “Entry Level IT Jobs” covers some Healthcare IT positions that may not be obvious to some who are trying to get started.
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