Beware of Errors on Test or Demo EMR System

Posted on May 12, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m sure that many of my readers have experienced the awkwardness of an error happening during the demo or training of an EMR system. I’ve been on both sides of the fence (watching or doing a demo) and let’s just say it’s really uncomfortable for both sides. Those that have experienced it know that the most common explanation for the error is “This is the demo system and so we haven’t finished setting everything up.” Or in the case of the training system, “This is the training system and so with all of the people training on this system it has some errors from those training on it.”

In some cases, this is completely true. When I’m training my staff for an update to our EMR software, there has been a number of occasions where I was just too lazy to set something up on our test database and it doesn’t work quite right. So, it does happen.

The difference between myself (most of the time) and those demoing and training you on an EMR system is that I’ll make note of the problem and make sure that indeed it was something I could easily fix. If I can’t, then I escalate it to our EMR vendor for resolution before we proceed with the upgrade. Those showing you the demo or training you might do the same. However, if you’re training on the system, there’s little chance the fixes they request will be implemented before you implement the system.

Even more to the point is that far too often it’s not something to do with the test or demo system, but is often an error in the program itself. It’s a good idea to evaluate the error you saw. This can be a real challenge since the trainer is often going to blow by the error as quickly as possible. However, don’t be afraid to call them out on the error. This is going to be the heart of your practice. Make sure you really know if those errors were temporary or chronic. Nothing’s more of a pain than regular errors from your EMR software.