Case Study: Teach 15,000 Physicians and their Staff to Use the Texas Electronic Death Registrar

Teach 15,000 Physicians and their Staff to Use the Texas Electronic Death Registrar

A doctor, nurse, police officer, and funeral home staffer stand shoulder to shoulder; all are potential users of the TER system.

The Issue

Texas Health and Safety Code 193.005 became effective in 2008 and mandated that physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners, Justices of the Peace, and Local Registrars switch from an entirely paper-based system for processing Death Certificates and adopt the new Texas Electronic Registrar (TER) system.

A year after the bill was made law, only 30% of all physicians had made the conversion. While the electronic version simply replicated the paper system, physicians didn't want to change. Because the Texas Electronic Registrar software was unique, familiarity with any other software was irrelevant; there was no learned behavior to transfer. The challenge wasn't only one of skills training; it was in motivating the physicians to use the software.

The Vital Statistics Division Field Services Team had only four personnel to perform the much-needed training all across the state. 

The Solution

A team of three instructional designers mapped the process associated with correctly completing a death certificate in TER and created Captivate recordings of the process to illustrate its simplicity. At the same time, a knowledge-base of FAQs was created to provided information on-demand related to specific tasks in TER for quick and easy recall.

To motivate the physicians, the relevance of their own ethical principles as articulated by the American Medical Association (AMA) was incorporated into the training citing how TER applied and that they had an "ethical" responsibility to expedite the complete and accurate processing of all death certificates. To promote the benefits of TER, physicians and funeral directors provided video testimonials that were published on the Vital Statistics training portal. Today, the number of electronic filings is over 90% and growing. 

Problems Solved

  • Training large, widely-distributed audiences