Electronic Medical Records were designed to facilitate the doctor and their practice to achieve efficiency and reduce hassle. Therefore, in order to get the most out of the product, it is essential to ask for valuable information from an EMR vendor before making a decision. Vendors usually provide users with free demonstrations to evaluate and compare the solutions. On one hand, demos are time consuming, but on the other hand these demos provide an insight to physicians and their staff on how suitable the solution will be for their practice and assess the amount of change that it may bring.
When it comes to health IT products, there are many choices available and therefore it is pivotal that the practice establishes their needs and wants before setting up the demonstration. Physician time is valuable and if vendors know the concerns and expectations of physicians beforehand, they can get straight to those relevant areas. Physicians and their staff can establish questions related to the EMR solution and either send them to the vendor representative ahead of time or simply ask them during the demo.
A lot of practices tend to think of EMR vendor demonstrations as training sessions and may overlook their primary concerns and expectations during the actual demo. There are also those that have a pre-defined idea of how an EMR system will work in their practice and may not be flexible enough to accept an alternative. Therefore, it is important to remain open to possibilities where the vendor representative may offer an alternative approach to accomplish a certain task. The vendor is trying to educate you on the system; hence it would be apt to make the most out of it by participating as much as possible. The more you ask, the more you learn, so it is important to share your thoughts throughout the demo.
This helps getting the right knowledge about the product and in building a relationship with your vendor representative, which helps them propose more viable solution based on your requirements. In the end, a quality feedback is essential to wrap up the demonstration. If you have made relevant notes during the demo, you should go over them immediately after the demo has ended to communicate these points to the vendor representative. Given the rising interest in EHR solutions and the limitation of available time, it is essential to schedule follow-up demos for a later date or time, if any questions remain unanswered. However, one should also keep in mind that, more research may result in more confusion.
Once you accumulated all the relevant information about your preferred EHR vendors, you get to the most important stage of the selection process, making a decision or and a long term commitment. Given the cost and contractual obligations involved in EMR contracts, performing an in-depth cost benefit analysis is very important. So, the final question has to be, “Is the solution worth my money?”.