EMR Trainer Dos and Don'ts

October 11, 2010

We were able to learn most of what we needed to know before - it just wasn’t a pleasant learning experience. And after meeting with the new person, I have come up with the following dos and don’ts for any EMR trainer.

As I mentioned last week, we got a different person than we had last year to come in to train my new staff members on the EMR. We liked the new person much more. Now don’t get me wrong. We were able to learn most of what we needed to know before - it just wasn’t a pleasant learning experience. And after meeting with the new person, I have come up with the following dos and don’ts for any EMR trainer:

DO remember that you are talking to people who have never used an EMR before.

DON’T use computer jargon with us. There are plenty of surveys that say patients don’t like it when their doctors use medical jargon, because it’s like a foreign language to them. Well, we feel the same way about EMR jargon.

DO remember that there are patients waiting for us. In the office and on the phone.

DON’T blame the hardware guys or the network guys if you’re not willing or able to provide the hardware or install the network. I had read the articles saying you should have your software people provide the hardware and install and support your computer network, but my vendor didn’t do that. And every time we had an issue, our previous trainer immediately blamed the IT guys. “It must be the network.” But the Internet connectivity was flawless and the computers could find each other, and the IT guys couldn’t find a problem. And we would later discover, it wasn’t a network problem.

DO be ready to answer the same question four or five times. And be ready to have us ask you again after you have left and we are faced with a real-life situation.

Corollary to that, DON’T ask, “Didn’t I tell you that already?”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ll give our original trainer the benefit of the doubt. I tell myself that he just knew the program so well that it seemed intuitive to him, even though it wasn’t for us. But we appreciate that the new trainer recognized the new staff as EMR virgins and taught them from scratch.