When considering purchasing new software for your home health or hospice agency there are critical questions to ask outside of feature/function. You should learn as much about this potential new partner as possible. I have mentioned this in a previous blog post, but this is a strategic partnership. Having spent the majority of my career in strategic sourcing, I can tell you from experience that better vendor relationships lead to better company business performance and profitability. To this point, you want to find a partner that closely aligns with the goals and objectives of your growth strategy. Ask yourself, how will this vendor improve care coordination? Can this vendor provide critical data to ACO’s for population health?
Do your research. How long has the company been in business? Are they stable and profitable? What is their customer acquisition strategy? How much do they focus on research and development? How is their customer service and support? Many of these questions can be answered by asking current customers. Always ask for customer references. I cannot stress enough how important this step is in your process. I have also been known to ask about customers they have lost and why. Sounds like a crazy question but how the vendor answers is very telling. The quality of an EHR doesn’t matter how large it is, but how honest, open and dedicated it is to it’s customers. Speaking of size, you should include a diverse group of players. Buying from the big players doesn’t safeguard that your software won’t be phased out or that you will receive acceptable support. I have often found the smaller players to make the best partnerships.
There are many questions to ask your vendor pool, but here we have outlined the 7 that agencies we have spoken with find most important:
- Do you guarantee that your product will be updated in order to meet any new or evolving requirements?
- How does your product support readmission prevention?
- Tell us about your implementation process? Is there additional cost for re-training?
- How did you rank in the well-regarded KLAS Research?
- Does your product allow interoperabilty with our key partners including the hospitals and other sources of referral?
- Is your pricing all inclusive? Is there anything that we could be charged for that isn’t on your price list?
- What type of support do you provide after implementation? How do your customers score you in this area?
Whether you are implementing EHR software for the first time or replacing existing software that isn’t meeting your needs, you should make certain that you have thoroughly
vetted the vendor. These are just a sample of some of the questions that agencies we have spoken to find most important. If you would like to learn more or have questions about the process that you should take, we are happy to help.