Pediatric practices who are evaluating their current EHR solution in this replacement market need to do their homework before purchasing another one. We have learned that a new EHR needs to meet a pediatric practice's specific needs; however, it also requires a vendor who can surpass those software needs and help a pediatric practice run a successful business. There are countless stories of failed implementations, disappointing go-lives, and lost revenues: assessing your vendor experience can help ease the fear and transition process.
What are the indicators of a troubled vendor relationship?
List the issues and you can quickly figure it out:
- Your EHR vendor fails to deliver on promises made during the sales cycle
- You suddenly get billed for software or services you thought were included
- Your on-boarding or go-live process is fraught with DIY steps
- Your vendor’s support is not as available as you expected or cannot resolve your issues in a timely fashion
- Interoperability becomes a costly term
- Lack of enthusiasm from anyone you encounter
What creates the perfect EHR vendor experience?
It is important to define, right from the start, the type of relationship that you and your EHR vendor are interested in creating. You can be in a strategic relationship or you can be in commoditized one, so it is important to determine where your pediatric practice needs to be.
The ideal vendor relationship is more than just your pediatric EHR software – it is a mutually beneficial “union” that creates a lasting, long-term trust arrangement and allows the pediatric practice to have a seat at the table and the EHR vendor to have a voice of market evidence and concern.
As you ponder your pediatric EHR vendor relationship, consider these 4 tips:
1. Define your expectations and communicate them
- What is your pediatric practice culture?
- How do you best communicate with your vendor?
- Can you align to their success expectations?
- Is your communication clear and concise?
2. Know your contract
- Understand the fine print
- Know what is included in your fee and what is not
- Be aware of what happens if you want to walk
- Do you own your data? Take a look at this important blog about data conversions.
- How do you get your data and is it free?
3. Ask for practice strategy support
- Do you get help to assure your practice is successful? For free?
- Do get transactional help or strategic insight?
- Do you have a seat at your vendor’s product planning sessions?
- Request support metrics
4. What kind of client are you to your vendor?
- Your vendor should help you build relationships with IPAs, Supergroups, help with payer questions, audits and so on.
Whether you are considering switching EHR solutions or optimizing your current system, it is important to understand that maximizing your vendor relationship is key to the success of your pediatric practice.