Packer Perspective: Investing in Technician Training

Published in Complex Rehab on August 11, 2020

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” –  Benjamin Franklin

I like to start out with a quote on most of my articles, and this quote seems appropriate as I sit in a classroom testing our members on technical skills with Matt Macpherson, our tech training expert. We have developed a certified educational program through FIOS and U.S. Rehab/VGM for tech training that is second-to-none in the industry. This educational program teaches online, hands-on, and theoretical knowledge to those who are working in the DME and CRT industry. The programs are quite extensive and are interactive, as well as computer-based. It is a program that has stood the test of time with U.S. Rehab/VGM and FIOS.

We have also continued this support by helping fund and participating in the DMERT Group, a non-profit credentialing body for the industry to set the benchmark of DME repair standards through industry collaboration. This collaboration has wide support from all parts of the manufacturers and providers across the country. The industry stakeholders that participate are helping fund the board, which is comprised of diverse industry members that helps this program improve the industry. This program got off the ground in 2012 with a board that has strived to include feedback from vendors, manufacturers, distributors, employers, and DME repair technicians, which is the driving force that has put the DMERT Group on the map and is increasing the proficiency and reliability of the technicians in our industry. 

The need for the industry-wide certification and training has been prominent for some time. With that being accomplished, the industry can move to the next level. This certification will ensure proficiency, reliability, and stability in the repair and service of DME and CRT. With the DMERT certification for standard DME at Level 1 and CRT at Level 2, the industry is able to asses those who have the commitment for excellence and efficiency. As your techs become more active and proficient in the repair process, it has a lasting effect on the future for those we serve. This gives an ability to guarantee that the person working on the equipment of those who require assistive technology is a high-quality repair technician and is administering the diagnostics to troubleshoot any issue it may have and keep the equipment running and reliable. The industry also benefits from the certification by eliminating those who are not qualified by the manufacturer who in turn will reduce liability over time as highly-trained technicians keep the equipment running and safe. The DME and CRT industry is not like many other industries, as it requires a knowledge base of end user needs, as well as mechanical and electrical understanding that does come with training and time for maximum proficiency.

DMERT has a leading board of directors who have the industry’s best interest as their prime objective. The members of the executive committee are as follows: Greg Packer, President of U.S. Rehab; Julie Piriano, PSB Board of RESNA; Don Clayback, Executive Director of NCART; Dan Fedor, Director Education and Reimbursement of U.S. Rehab; Mark Schmeler, Professor of University of Pittsburgh Rehab Sciences; and Matt Macpherson, Executive Director DMERT. With a wide variety of support and hands-on work groups that have helped to develop the credential requirements, the organization has one task at hand, and that is to help the industry continue to support a high level of educational programs and opportunities to drive industry efficiency and perfection. 

To tie this back to the quote at the beginning, the interest payment is coming as we continue to train and certify technicians across the country, delivering high-quality and well-trained industry tech leaders.


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