Great Advice for EMR and EHR Selection

This was a great piece of advice that was given at my Health Tech Next Generation EMR 101 panel.
@2healthguru – Gregg Masters
We run from EMR vendors w/products that offer lots of free hours of training. Means EMR UI not Intuitive @brandrew0 #HTng11

I’d only clarify that unlimited free support is good, but it’s when they suggest you use a week of that free support that you run.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I couldn’t disagree with this more, an EMR can be intuitive and still have layers of complexity that can only be easily and painlessly peeled back and revealed through training.

    Full practice management suite’s with EMR, billing, and the lot of it are often complex because of the amount of features they contain. I feel like it’s becoming all too popular to sacrifice functionality for the sake of intuitiveness. We’re not talking about a word processor here, whose singular job is to write words on a computer or a cell phone whose job it is to connect you to people and (at this point) help you manage your life. We’re talking about a software suite designed to manage a medical practice or hospital with exponentially more patient’s than employees. That’s often tens of thousands of lives to manage.

    And you’re really disappointed that the software company wants to make sure you know how to use it?

  • I agree with Andrew – I’ve never heard a practice complain that they got too much training. And, even walking into my own clients’ offices, I *always* find opportunities to show them things that never sunk in the first (or fifth) time around.

    What’s the basis for this comment? Which vendors are scaring people away with free training?

  • Andrew,
    You hit on an interesting point about deep dives into the feature set. Not to put words in Andrew’s mouth, but his point is the up front training that’s needed to learn an EMR that’s not intuitive. Rarely does the initial training go into a deep dive like you describe. If they did, it would overwhelm the person being trained and they’d forget all the deep dive stuff that was taught. The deep dive training that you describe is usually best done a month or so after the implementation when you have a good grasp of the EHR software.

    Plus, as I pointed out in the post, it’s not necessarily the long term free training that’s an issue as much as the major requirement up front to start using the EHR.

    Usually the complaints about this come in the manner of a doctor saying, “Why do I have to take a week [insert timeframe] off work to train on the EHR? If I’m not working, we’re not getting paid.”

  • I agree with John. Too much training is a red flag. I am a physician and looked at several EMR. The simple ones are the most efficient. When you need a map or detailed instruction to go from point A to point B, it is poor design. It is very hard to get any EMR sellers to admit to that as they invested so much in making the software. They usually insist that you need more training to be able to unlock the power of their software.
    One red flag for EMR software is not having any available demo/pictures to look at. Insisting that you need a schedule a demo means the software is complex, most of the time the demo is a waste of time (selling tactics and I never seen it working with anyone I know). If the software is really good it sells itself, very few are.

Click here to post a comment