What are my top priorities for vendor selection?
The EHR marketplace is very competitive and a number of vendor systems have similar functionality. In addition, many vendors have obtained CCHIT certification. The decision to select a vendor should be as comprehensive as possible and include criteria such as pricing structure, procurement models, maintenance plans, user training and support. When deciding on a vendor, health centers should list their organizational priorities and assess how potential vendors can address these issues. Additionally, due to the mandate by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act that eligible professionals must demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs in order to receive incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid, health centers should also ensure that vendors are able to comply with meaningful use requirements.
Resources on vendors:
- Preparation for Vendor Selection (PDF - 98.3KB) - This tool was developed by the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. This tool is meant to help clinics outline the goals that will guide them in selecting an EHR vendor. The goals are separated into four categories that represent four aspects of EHR: functionality, usability, practicality, and reputation.
- How to Select an EHR (PDF - 192KB) – This article by the American Academy of Family Physicians provides a 12-step summary on selecting an EHR vendor, including information regarding interface requirements.
- HRSA Electronic Health Records- Selection Guidelines for Health Centers - This tool was developed by HRSA in collaboration with health center professionals and health information technology (HIT) experts. This tool is meant to help clinics outline the specifications that will guide them in selecting an EHR vendor.
Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.