Builder Training and Commitment
Connect Care stakeholders make significant investments in Clinician Builders and Clinician Builders make significant investments in special training and projects. Experience shows that a return on this investment is unlikely if builders do not commit at least a day a week to their builder role. Accordingly, prospective builders must be able to demonstrate organizational awareness of their role and credible protection of time allocated to builder activities.
The builder role should not be accommodated in a way that creates financial or career development disincentives. How this is accomplished will vary by clinician type and any existing inter-organizational agreements about how to report and credit clinical innovation work. The ideal is a contracted commitment that allows for accountability to the Connect Care initiative for the time allocated to builder activity. Details of any compensation should be reported to and approved by AHS Medical Affairs, Operational Manager, and stakeholder organizations, such as Universities or alternate practice relationship plans.
The Clinical Builder role is not only compatible with but could be a boon to a career in clinical improvement. Individuals interested in quality assurance, quality improvement, patient safety, health services assessment, health technology assessment, knowledge translation, clinical decision support, clinical innovation and clinical improvement sciences can grow valuable capacities through the Clinician Builder role. Builders can play pivotal roles in clinical research, quality improvement, clinical analytics and program evaluation projects. Persons already on a clinical improvement career pathway may find it easier to integrate builder work with other clinical and academic accountabilities. Persons not on such a pathway should explore options for up-skilling in improvement scholarship.
Epic has developed specific training programs for Clinical Builders. There are different course offerings for physician builders and for clinical content builders, with current descriptions on the Epic User Web (https://training.epic.com/CourseCatalog#/?LocationID=1&ViewID=course-catalog).
In general, courses are sequential and should be completed in order. Some courses have prerequisites, detailed in course descriptions. Courses may also have project work required for course completion and certification. In most cases, individuals receive documentation needed to validate applications for CME credits.
The on-site experience is invaluable. Classes are comprised of clinicians in similar roles at large North American health science centers. Ample opportunity is provided for networking, information sharing and even for collaborating on joint projects.
Formal Clinician Builder training occurs at the Epic campus in Verona, Wisconsin. Builders are expected to complete at least two courses at the Epic campus, each requiring 3-5 days in residence. As so, the principal direct cost associated with this opportunity is related to travel and lodging. Indirect costs would involve time required to complete certification project(s), participate in the Connect Care builder community, and perform ongoing build tasks.