Creating your EHR RFP: Outlining your practice process
The process of identifying and outlining your practice processes and business needs as a whole is an essential step in creating your EHR request for proposal document. You need to clearly delineate your practice to potential vendors so that they are able to accurately propose their EHR system. Outlining your business systems with your EHR selection committee will provide the team with great insight into the intricate workings of your practice.
Ensure your EHR selection team is representative of the whole practice process
Your EHR selection committee will be comprised of key stakeholders from all facets of the practice. You should have representation from the clinical staff members and the support staff of reception, billing and operations. Board members, owners, and management teams will delineate administrative concerns such as costs, training and timelines. In addition, you should include a representative from your legal team, accounting and purchasing as well as compliance and security departments.
Seek the knowledge of potential EHR users
Note which personnel will need to use the EHR system, who needs access, what are the billing processes, who is the patient population, what IT systems are already in place, what legal and insurance guidelines are need, and what administrative/productivity measures does the practice monitor? These types of practice specifications must be clear to the EHR section committee, so that they can be clearly conveyed to potential vendors in your EHR request for proposal.
Know your practice workflows
Because so many facets of the business will be affected by implementation of a new EHR system, it is important that the entire team have a clear understanding of the current systems and workflows. For example, if it is critical to have patient education handouts (which will likely add to the cost of the system), administrative management will need to know their purpose and the role it has on patient outcomes. This way, increased costs are justified to practice members that are not clinical practitioners.
Present the basics
The selection team will also obtain basic practice information that the vendors will need to know, including: facility size, current technology and equipment on-site, timelines, goals, contact information and estimated budget.
Much of the information you gather regarding practice processes and business specifications will be conveyed in the “About” section of the EHR request for proposal. You will share information about the specifics of your practice, so that the vendors will be able to tailor the responses to your practice. The “About” section must be specific. A vendor would likely offer different services to an extended care rehabilitation facility as opposed to a concierge medicine physician. The more specific you can convey your practice needs (in a concise manner) in your EHR request for proposal, the more likely you will be pleased with your vendor proposals.
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