How to Select an EHR Vendor

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ESNJ Solutions recommends* that you consider taking the following steps when selecting an EHR:

  1. Determine your short and long term goals for the EHR.  How will you use it today and in the future?  We suggest that you think in terms of 5 years out.
    • Is it going to be used as a billing tool?
      • If YES, who are you billing and
    • Is it going to be used as a record keeping tool?
      • If so, what parts of the record do you want in the EHR
    • What do your non fee for service funders require?
    • What else do you want it to do?  management, scheduling, etc.
    • Will you still maintain paper records?
    • Will you use it for required forms?
    • Do you want to generate reports?
      • If so what reports?
    • Will you use it for quality management?
    • Does it need to interface with other electronic systems?
    • Does it need to meet HIPAA or Meaningful Use standards?
    • Do you have staff to manage the system (systems administration) and provide help desk support (non IT)?
    • Will the EHR be used remotely?
      • If so, on what devices
      • How many users will you have? NOTE: Everyone who touches the system is a user.
  2. Vendor Selection
    • Send out a request for proposals to vendors
    • Establish selection team- should be from all service departments and all administrative departments
    • Screen proposals based on your criteria
    • Invite vendors to do a demonstration based on your requirements
    • Use a check list with points to assess vendors-this is NOT a majority rules process
    • Check vendor references
    • Choose a vendor not based on majority vote but on best match (points)
    • Select vendor and have contracts review by an IT attorney or other  expert in this field
  3. Who should be on your internal EHR implementation team?

    • Representation from ALL of the departments in your organization
    • Representation from many levels of your organization including direct care/support staff
    • Employees who have potential to be “super users”: employees with an interest and curiosity about electronic systems
    • Project leadership may or may not be your IT staff. Consider that whoever leads the project must understand your service culture
    • ESNJ Solutions highly recommends that you onboard your systems administration and internal help desk functions prior to the start of this project. NOTE: this is NOT an IT help desk or vendor help desk

*This is a recommendation based on our experience and does not imply or suggest a specific strategy for your organization, nor does it represent consultation with or for your organization.

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