Welcome to the Machine!


You have just signed a contract for a new EMR and you are wondering how much end user training is going to be required.

If the vendor tells you it is going to take 3-4 weeks, chances are you will be getting a “one-size-fits-none” solution or a “one-size-fits-all” solution.  Neither is good news.

The likely outcome for a “one-size-fits-none” solution is that it will perform as expected. Users will refuse to use it, and the system will eventually end up in the trash can. Don’t worry, you probably won’t be fired – chances are this is the second or third time the agency has been down this path.

The “one-size-fits-all” solution will end up in the same place, but only after you have contributed heavily to the sales rep’s retirement plan.

Consider this – how many people do you know who refuse to use MS Word or MS Excel? A few, perhaps, but most use such software because a) the software does something useful and b) the user is in control of what the software does.

EMRs are no different. Your agency has best practice protocols, your agency has forms used to document interventions associated with these best practices and if the EMR you acquire accommodates your best practices and your forms, then the software ends up working for you instead of you working for the software.  And, with your users seeing THEIR workflows posting THEIR forms, the learning curve will be hours, not weeks.

The lesson here is clear – get an EMR that puts your agency, not the vendor, in charge.

With a system that lets agency functional units build, maintain and own their workflows and set up their forms, the extent of any required training may involve little more that introducing an end user to the machine and showing them where the ON button, screen, keyboard and mouse are.

If the machine is a PC, you may have some explaining to do re shutting it down (i.e. click on the Start button).

About kwkeirstead@civerex.com

Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in critical infrastructure protection, healthcare, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, job shop manufacturing and b2b organizations. (C) 2010-2017 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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