Daily Archives: 05/22/2012

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By Chad Morrill, account executive at Access, the world’s leading electronic forms management choice for hospitals.

 

When hospitals choose a healthcare IT provider, they too often just focus on the same questions many of us consider when buying a car: “How fast does it go?” and “How much does it cost?” But for a successful project, these are just two of the many factors to consider. Another key decision point should be a vendor’s suitability as a long-term partner.

We’re not just talking the equivalent of a 100,000-mile power train warranty, whereby the vendor will fix your system if it breaks, though of course responsive support is important. But beyond that, you’ll be better off working with a company that not only understands its products and services, but also your processes, your staff, and your goals, and will do its best to unite these elements to give you maximum performance and value.

The first thing to consider before getting on the road is your hospital’s needs, both now and for the next few years. What are the pain points you’re trying to overcome, what new compliance mandate are you struggling to satisfy, or which facet of your EMR/EHR project are you finding most troublesome? This then defines the focus of your solution search, which will in turn narrow your list of prospective vendors.

Next, ask for references from facilities like yours and see how they’re solving the very issues you want to solve. Then ask them what else they’ve been able to do with the product. A hospital sometimes picks a solution because it fits neatly into whatever box they’re trying to fill, but yet leaves the full potential of that solution untapped. One of the reasons is that an IT team is typically tasked with solving a very narrow problem, and once they’ve done it, they must move on to putting out the next fire lit by clinicians or the CIO. They then go out and look for other vendors to meet the very needs that could be met by the product they’re already using – a waste of time, effort, and money for everyone involved.

Click here to read the rest of this post at leading healthcare blog HIStalk