An introduction to EHR RFP documents
In the process of implementing an electronic health record system into your practice, it is necessary to evaluate the quality, cost, benefits and limitations of potential EHR vendors. In order to do this systematically, you should create an EHR request for proposal (RFP) document.
An EHR RFP is a formal document asking potential vendors to submit the most accurate information as to how their company meets your practice requirements. This allows you to differentiate which software product will be able to meet these requirements, improve your quality of documentation and billing, and prove to be the most cost effective option.
Context & strategy
Within an EHR RFP, you will discuss your requirements in detail to give vendors the context they need to quote their services as well as the cost of these services. Your RFP must clearly outline the goals, specialties, and clinical specifications of your practice and must include a priority system for these requirements. If the vendors have basic, clear information about your practice needs, then they will be able to better describe their features for your practice.
The main reason for producing an EHR RFP is to strategically analyze your market. The process of implementing an EHR system is time consuming and costly. For this reason, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of exactly what you are looking for. Imagine designing your own EHR system. What would you include for your practice? What type of customer support and training would you need? What type of timeframe would you expect for implementation? What billing regulations and codes do you need to follow? These priorities will set the template for your EHR RFP.
A precursor to contracts
Your practice should have developed an EHR selection committee that includes key stakeholders, managers and clinical staff. This team will give you input on your RFP from all facets of your practice. The selection committee will be able to ensure that great attention to detail is provided within every section of your RFP.
Your RFP must clearly outline the goals, specialties, and clinical specifications of your practice and must include a priority system for these requirements.
It is also important to note that the creation of your EHR RFP will likely need input from your practice’s legal team as it is often a precursor to the EHR contract. For this reason, it is important to accurately and specifically outline necessary timelines, goals, objectives and clinic needs, including training, staff support and necessary IT needs.
On a larger scale, the creation of an EHR RFP will provide internal insight on the needs of your practice, both immediately and long term. Immediately, you will have an outline from which to evaluate vendor proposals. Long term, you will have identified successful and poorly run processes within the practice and hopefully set goals for improvement.
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