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P36 - Supporting New Hires in a Virtual Environment: Creation of an Orientation Support Group for New Informaticists

Background: Orientation to a new role can be a challenging undertaking. Pre-COVID 19 pandemic, processes often saw orientation programs occur in a face-to-face environment. In a post-pandemic state, many organizations have moved to virtual orientation processes. Concerns such as a loss of connection, lack of rapport, a sense of disconnection and feeling overwhelmed were identified with virtual orientation in an informatics department at a large, multi-site healthcare organization.

Purpose: As a result of the overwhelming amount of information being presented during the virtual orientation process and a perceived lack of connection to a team, two newly hired informaticists identified an opportunity to partner to share learnings and experiences.

Methods: Informal, virtual touchpoints began on a weekly basis between two newly hired informaticists to share learnings and resources. Additionally, this time allowed for a “safe space” to ask questions without fear of judgement from more experienced colleagues. These touchpoints also provided opportunities to work though never-experienced tasks together in a low-stress environment. With the support of departmental leadership, informal touchpoints evolved into scheduled weekly meetings and other newly hired informaticists from across the organization were added. This resulted in an institution-wide orientation support group for new informaticists. The newly formed orientation support group identified pertinent topics, sought subject matter experts to present on desired topics, and developed a central location to house learning materials.

Outcomes: What started as informal touchpoints between two new informaticists, rapidly evolved into a formal group of over twenty new hires sharing similar circumstances. Participants verbally expressed significant improvements in joy and belonging and reported feeling more connected to the informatics team. This group also created a clinical informatics and practice support handbook which is housed in a centrally accessible location. The handbook contains pertinent, up-to-date references identified by new informaticists as necessary for successful completion of orientation. Due to the perceived value of this resource, all informaticists in this organization were granted access to the handbook.

Conclusions: Creation and development of the orientation support group has benefited many and continues to grow and develop. Additional evaluation is needed to explore effectiveness and identify ongoing opportunities for development.


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