So, you’ve started your journey to find the right electronic health record (EHR) partner. Often times it can be hard to differentiate software from software during a demonstration, and even more difficult to see which partner best fits your organization. It’s important to know what to look for, what questions to ask and what to expect when beginning an EHR demo process. It can be an overwhelming process, so we constructed some key questions and ideas for you to consider.
- What am I trying to achieve by buying an EHR platform? At the very least, your organization may be looking to consolidate data and provide easy access to information. However, you may also be looking to meet state requirements and standards or improve your efficiency and workflows. Can the technology vendor show you specifically how their software can support these unique requirements?
- Who am I buying the software for? Understand who your day-one users are going to be. If the initial users don’t understand it, then you may have a lot of problems with users down the road. Can the technology vendor show you multiple role-based workflows?
- How will the EHR impact current workflows? When considering different software, it’s important to consider and anticipate what level of disruption in clinician workflow will occur. Can the technology vendor show you how easy it will be to work in one integrated system?
- How easy is the software going to be for my staff to use? It’s a lot more than just implementing the software and turning it on. Check out the vendor’s history and see if the software has improved and kept up with the trends of the marketplace. Can the technology vendor show you a list of improvements they’ve made to the software over the last 12 months
- Who will we be able to share data with and how? If you plan to share data, then you need to look at vendors who can make data shareable with other organizations, as well as making other organization’s data shareable with you. All vendors say they’re fully connected, but can the technology vendor show you specifically how they are sharing data?
Keep in mind that every demo is different, especially varying from technology company to technology company. For example, beware of a vendor who uses PowerPoint in lieu of a live demonstration. Performing a live demonstration can help prove the quality of the partner and software. In addition, if you’re planning to host an upcoming demo, check to make sure your facility has good connectivity. Ask if the vendor requires internet connectivity and provide them with the best connectivity possibility. Often times the performance of the demonstration depends on the ability to connect to the internet.
An EHR demo can be highly informative and help you make the right decision when picking a partner. In order to optimize each session, take time to get prepared, assess your organization’s needs and set expectations. Most importantly, ask the right questions before, during and after the demonstration so you can partner with the EHR vendor who will best suit your needs and goals.