A framework cheat sheet for your EHR RFP
Your EHR RFP will be divided into sections for easy reading and negotiating. To help you along with this crucial stage in your selection process we have compiled an EHR RFP cheat sheet. The sections will include:
Introduction: The introduction will include information about your practice and business processes. This is the “About” section of your proposal. It is important that the vendor knows what type of practice they are submitting a proposal for.
Vendor Profile: Include a section for the vendor to share information about their company and their EHR product.
Requirements: In this section, you will delineate all the requirements you are looking for (with an area for Yes/No, Included/Not included etc. and narrative comments). This section will be the basis of your proposal evaluations.
Timelines: Include the timelines for submission, review and decision making.
Cost: The vendor will have an opportunity to provide narrative and financial information regarding their services for your practice.
Selection process: Include a brief summary of your intended selection process, as well as a contact person for questions.
Typically, the RFP is prepared as an outlined short answer response format with an adjoining checklist. This format allows the benefits of quick answer checklist with areas for further explanation. Part of the document includes a table provided with a column for the requested feature and adjoining columns with answers of Yes/No or Included/Add-on etc. The vendor is able to quickly mark if a given feature is offered or included in the price of the proposal. Because a checklist would not provide enough information for clarification, short answer questions should also be included. The narrative response is written in short paragraphs and offers the vendors an opportunity to explain in more detail each service and how it meets the needs of your practice.
Below is a cheat sheet for the structure of an EHR RFP document, including suggested items to be included:
Request for Proposal: Electronic Health Record
Name of Practice:
About Your Practice:
- History, facility size, patient population, staffing, goals of EHR transition
- Background information: present an overview of your organization and operations
- Purpose of implementing new EHR system
Name, role and contact information including email and phone
-Name, address, telephone number, website
- Publicly traded? Private?
- Main contact person, title, phone, email
- Market analytics:
- Years as EHR vendor, number of live sites, EHR retention rate
- Narrative section: How does your company meet the needs of EHR clients including training/support
- Product name, version, operations
- Number of databases for scheduling, billing, documenting
- Number of portals (patient, clinician, administrative, student etc.)
- Access from third parties (insurance companies, billers, patient access)
- List all modules
- All included or add-on features?
- Compatibility: Internet servers, Mac vs PC, PDF/paper copies
- Confidentiality: what internal systems in place to ensure patient privacy
Here are some examples of things your practice may include - a simple checklist with the option fto add some narrative. Break this down into sections for easier analysis by the vendor
- Module to document:
- Daily notes
- Visit summaries
- Progress notes
- Patient follow up
- Patient education
- Billing integration
- Ad hoc charting
- Standard reports
- Timeframe for product demonstration
- Onsite implementation or remote training?
- Number of hours committed to initial staff training?
- Ongoing client support available?
- Additional cost for additional training after implementation?
- Customer support availability/ mode of contact
Security and Data protection:
- How does the product meet all privacy and confidentiality requirements?
- Ongoing security monitoring?
- How is patient data secured?
- How is clinician information secured?
- E-signatures, electronic prescribing
Technology and infrastructure requirements:
- Recommended manufacturer/models
- Required internet servers
- Patient access
- Patient education handouts
- Electronic prescription availability
- Patient scheduling reminders
The EHR RFP timeline should include:
- Intent to respond due date:
- Written questions due:
- RFP responses due:
- Vendor of choice selection date:
(This should be a blank template asking the vendor to explain cost and fees for services/features)
Any Inquiries: Direct all questions to: contact name and email/phone, role and title
All in all, this framework should set you on the right footing towards creating your EHR RFP, adapt it to match any specific practice requirements you have and remember that the more information you provide regarding your EHR requirements the more relevant responses you will receive.
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