Office Practicum staff has been busy since last Spring getting ready for the 2016 OP User Conference. We are excited to meet our users in person and learn a lot from each other! I’ve written about the value of user conferences before. There just is no substitute for in-person learning, networking, and having fun together.
How can you get the most out of your attendance? Some preparation on your part will add to your learning and enjoyment. This advanced planning will help ensure you meet your goals. First of all, familiarize yourself with the different types of learning experiences that will be offered. We heard from many of you that you wanted more hands-on education. There will be self-paced skill labs throughout the conference. (Are you old enough to remember those SRA reading cards in elementary school?) You will get to choose what skills you would like to master, and work through the learning exercise at your own pace with training specialists available to assist you if needed. There will be general sessions, seminars, discussion groups, and instructor-led advanced skill labs. (Note: you will need your own laptop/tablet with access to your instance of OP for the advanced skill labs!)
Make sure you download the app on your phone! You can make your own agenda and set alerts so you don’t miss key events, like the welcome reception by the pool! In addition, the presentations will be loaded in advance of the show. If you aren’t sure what will be discussed in a particular session, take a sneak peek! You can also message other attendees at the conference through the app and make yourself a to-do list, as well as take pictures!
Take some time to write down 3 learning objectives that you would like to take away from the presenters/facilitators and 3 topics about which you want to brainstorm with your colleagues. If more than one person from your practice is coming, divide up your list of topics and plan accordingly. This directed planning time is well spent to ensure you leave the conference feeling empowered to improve your use of OP or your practice.
Write down some key concepts/ideas where you would like to help improve OP. It’s best if you can state what you would like to accomplish, rather than, “I want you to move this button here.” It’s really helpful if you can articulate “I would like a way to be able to have the following information on a single screen so I can accomplish x more efficiently.” You will have ample time to meet with dedicated OP team members who want to collect your ideas so together we can make OP even better. Your feedback does matter.
Most importantly, be prepared to meet new people, OP team members, OP users from across the country, and our exhibitors, who in many cases, are our industry partners. Share ideas, best practices, and get excited to be part of a community that is dedicated to using EHR tools to create Optimal Paths to Practice Success. See you in AC!!! (And if you can’t be with us this year, please plan to join us in 2017!)