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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

One thought on “What Questions Should I Ask an EHR Vendor?

  1. I feel strongly as a wokrer in the healthcare system that there are grave concerns about the use of EMRs, but I am realistic enough to know that they are already part of our world and will only grow to be a bigger part in coming years. I feel that the number one concern for all EMR software lies in protecting the consumers, both clients and medical personnel. Thus, I am concerned that there is not more involvement of those in the healthcare community, as this is not merely a software issue, but also a healthcare issue. I would like to see more activity by physicians and nurse in determining what is necessary to make the systems usable and to ensure that all of the potential benefits of EMRs are realized. I believe that cannot happen without more healthcare personnel input. I worry that the government will not handle this situation better than is has handled so many others and that as consumers, we will suffer the consequences. However, I can see no way around government involvement in our society, because our corporations, small businesses, etc. are not renowned for their willingness to work together and I do not see this changing in the near future, at least not as long as making a buck is the ultimate goal of developers and healthcare agencies. It will be interesting to see what develops if healthcare reform ever comes to pass, but for now, the government is, unfortunately, our only option.