The HIStalk Practice Advisory Panel is a group of physicians, ambulatory care professionals, and a few vendor executives who have volunteered to provide their thoughts on topical issues relevant to physician practices. I seek their input every month or so on an important news development and also ask the non-vendor members about their recent experience with vendors. E-mail me to suggest an issue for their consideration.
If you work for a practice, you are welcome to join the panel. Many thanks to the HIStalk Practice Advisory Panel members for willingness to participate.
For this report, I asked panel members: When purchasing HIT systems, what resources do you use to compare vendors and products?
I don’t put a lot of stock in KLAS. What I do put stock in is actually talking to users of the products, and not necessarily those given on vendor-supplied reference lists. Our organization participates in various external quality organizations, specialty organizations, and advocacy groups. All of them have listservs where you can ping the rest of the members to find out what products they are using for a particular business need, or how they like a particular product. It’s a good real-world resource.
I also ping CMIOs that share the same primary vendor as we have. They’re well positioned to tell what products they use to fill functionality gaps or that compliment our EHR.
Lately we’ve awarded three contracts without a formal RFP or competitive vendor selection process. Unfortunately, that approach has been both expensive and has resulted in us owning products or buying consulting services that have failed to meet the functionality or quality our users desire. Hopefully we’ll learn a lesson soon.
Combination of talking to peers (e.g. people I know, AMDIS listservs), reading about them, doing demos. We’ll see if KLAS has info on them as well.
Industry groups (AMGA, Premier, SG2, HIStalk, etc) along with consultants in certain cases to identify potential options and then detail comparisons of the vendors in an RFP type process.
When our administrators looked for an EHR, they simply looked at the market leader in our niche market, got a one-hour demo, and chose it. Turns out that’s not a good method.
If we were to choose today, I would look at user comments on KLAS and see what is being mentioned on blogs like HIStalk.
We haven’t purchased any new HIT systems for the employed physicians in several years. For private practice physicians, I provide them with the latest reports from KLAS, AARP, AMA, etc. I also share with them the top five market share EMR vendors in the region. Additionally, I provide them with two or three names of the clinics using each EMR system in the region so that they are aware of the colleague / competitor decisions in the market they serve. I also provide user group information for each EMR vendor if there is a local presence.
KLAS, hospital offering, advice from colleagues.
Google and Web research. EMRConsultant.com. Personal recommendations from colleagues. Demos, demos, demos. Getting access to a test site for extended, unrestricted hands-on experience seems to be the most helpful.