I’ve had clients ask for help after looking at software systems for two or three years. They laugh about the fact that they’ve become “professional software researchers.” The good news is there’s light at the end of the tunnel if you choose to follow a proven technology selection process: RFPs.
Let the vendors do the heavy lifting and utilize a powerful evaluation tool known as the Request for Proposal (RFP). In RFPs you ask a number of questions related to such topics as vendor’s business profile and structure, features and functionality, implementation and support methodologies, and other useful questions. This allows you to compare vendors across varying features, service plans and price structures. RFPs are important because they:
- Communicate your needs, priorities, and expectations
- Provide for side by side, apples to apples vendor comparisons
- Document vendor commitments and promises from a legal standpoint
Best of all, soliciting RFPs from various vendors doesn’t cost you anything but a little sweat equity. Because RFPs require vendors to prepare customized proposals, the process gives you a good idea of which vendors are serious about working with you and which can best accommodate your needs.
Michael Uretz is a thirty-year healthcare IT veteran and nationally-recognized Electronic Health Records (EHR) and healthcare software expert.