Many practices are finding that their first EHR system or current system lacks newer features to assist them with MIPS requirements and reporting, doesn't have enough vendor support or is lacking in technical advances of new features and user friendliness. Practices are now faced with a decision of finding a new EHR to replace their current system. It can me extremely stressful, time consuming and frustrating to do all the research and find the right fit for your practice in a timely manner, but if you have a well thought out plan on how to address the replacement of your EHR, it can be a much more enjoyable process. Whether you're looking to buy your first EHR, seeking to replace your EHR, or consolidating EHRs to a single, integrated solution, this guide will help you in the process.
Step 1: Create an EHR Selection Team
Form a team to guide the selection process with representation from every major area of your organization—clinical, billing, technology (IT),
and administrative. Include no more than seven team members to make consensus building and decision making easier.
Step 2: Do Your Research
Start out by asking your team what problems need to be resolved and also what features they would like in a new system that you currently don't have available. Once you have that information, you can better determine what your practice's needs are. You should then be able to eliminate options that don't meet your practice's needs and you will be able to take a closer look at the options that do meet your needs. Further researching your options will require setting up software demos, finalizing a list of your Must Have Features and lastly deciding on what budget your practice is comfortable with.
Step 3: Verify Your Funding
Ensure you have necessary organizational budget approvals. Your research should help you have an accurate budget proposal from several vendors. It is far better to over budget than to under budget.
Step 4: Draft an RFP
Draft your requirements for Vendor Proposals considering how you will score Vendor Responses. The more information you provide to vendors,
the better they can design a solution to meet your needs; and the better their responses, the easier it is for your team to evaluate options. Do not share your budget information.
Make sure to give Vendors a few weeks to digest your RFP and submit questions. Aggregate their questions and send the answers to all vendors.
Step 5: Narrow the Pool
Evaluate each proposal with a weighted points scale. There are many ways to score vendors and the amount of granularity you apply is up to you. The important thing is that you employ some method to rank all RFP responses that will allow you to feel comfortable that the top few vendors do in fact offer solutions that meet your needs and are within your budget.
Once all team members have scored each vendor, use the average scores to select the vendors who will move forward. Three is optimal, as the next step requires significant resource commitments. Be sure to notify the vendors who will not be moving forward.
Step 6: See The Products In Action
Schedule your Top two vendors to conduct detailed demonstrations. Give them plenty of time and prepare your team to rank every vendor's demo using the same scale. Set the expectation with vendors for live demonstrations of their products - not slides, or any non-live presentation. Drop vendors who do not have an actual product to demonstrate.
Step 7: Discuss Partnership
How you work with a vendor is as important as their product. During the on-site or Live meeting, ask vendors to discuss the following; Implementation, data migration, training, proposal review and any other vendor information you want to know.
Step 8: Request Best and Final Offers
After reviewing three-to-five prospects, your team may already have a clear winner in mind. If so, move to the contracting step. If not, narrow the field to two vendors using a team vote, demonstration rankings, or pricing.
You should now convey any new, removed, or changed needs or expectations to your two prospects. With a better understanding of their pricing methodologies, you can provide additional information that would allow them to refine their quantities for licensing or services.
Ask both remaining prospects to submit a BaFO. This gives them the opportunity to adjust their pricing and gives you a chance to get a better price.
Step 9: Choose a Partner
You should now have one vendor who has earned 75% or more of your team’s votes. If not, simply use price as the selection criteria. Move forward with your vendor of choice (VoC) until you either sign a contract or reach an impasse. Do not notify your second-place vendor of your decision until you execute a contract with your VoC. Notifying a vendor of their second-place status can cause difficulties should they become your VoC.
Step 10: Review The Contract and Sign It
Ask your chosen vendor to submit their final contract and software licensing and services agreement (SLSA), as well as all paperwork to finalize the purchase. Inquire about any third-party software that is necessary for the system to operate.
It's a big undertaking to switch EHR vendors. That's why it's important to choose a vendor who not only meets your needs now, but who will be a
partner alongside you as those needs evolve.
NextGen Office EHR offers a comprehensive care solution. We provide complete clinical content for 26 areas of healthcare spanning
behavioral health, medical, and dental. Our solution includes all the productivity tools and reporting capabilities organizations need, and we invest in our solution to continually meet industry changes.