What Questions Should I Ask an EHR Vendor?

So you’ve managed to identify several EHR vendors who meet your initial criteria for the right type of company and system capabilities, but that still leaves you with five, ten, or even fifteen possibilities.

Now what?  Consider using an EHR Vendor Questionnaire!

An EHR Vendor Questionnaire at this stage of the evaluation and selection process can help further narrow the field, and provide you with important information about vendors you are seriously considering.

What does this initial EHR Vendor Questionnaire include?

  • General information
  • Information about the software applications, including pricing methodology
  • Customer support
  • References
  • Information on implementation planning
  • Documentation and training

A note about pricing.  Following this initial vendor questionnaire is the all important Request for Proposal (RFP).  The RFP will, in some detail, address the pricing structure and drill much deeper into this particular challenge. An EHR system’s return on investment is more than the software pricing. In addition to base license fees per physician, there are usually also variable charges for part-time physicians and non-physician providers such as NP’s and PA’s, data base fees, fees for use of mobile applications such as hospital rounds, fees for the patient portal, and sometimes even fees for non-provider staff.

An initial Vendor Questionnaire is just part of a disciplined “due diligence” process that you should consider following while selecting an EHR system.  But it is an important step that can help you to better manage your time in that process.  After all, avoiding having to sit through lengthly software demonstrations from vendors that you could have easily ruled out ahead of time, means that you’ve got that much more time to focus on those options that are more suited to your needs.

When you need proven expertise and performance

Jim Hook, MPH

Mr. James D. Hook has over 30 years of healthcare executive management and consulting experience in medical groups, hospitals, IPA’s, MSO’s, and other healthcare organizations.

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