Making the most of your EHR demo
During an EHR demo, the selection committee will have an opportunity to assess the quality of the EHR system and determine whether or not it will fit the needs of the medical practice. You should have already outlined what you expect to gain from the demonstration. This will typically include items from your “problem list” and needs to be filled by the new system.
Direction & autonomy
Consider sending the vendor a list of items that you wish to see or have presented. The vendor will be then able to ensure your requirements are addressed during the time constraints of the presentation.
Although you may be tempted to have them follow a pre-designated script, you should leave some room for them to show you their product. If the vendor does not have some autonomy during the demonstration, you will risk missing out on additional features that you are unaware of.
Questions in context
An EHR demonstration is an opportunity to ask the vendor questions that are specific to your practice and would not be shared in general system information. Some specific questions might include:
Common questions asked during EHR demos include:
- How does the mobile portal differ from the office portal?
- How can the patient portal improve communication with patients?
- How does the system increase compliance with prescriptions and keeping appointments?
- How does the system track and monitor productivity? Patient outcomes?
- How is Meaningful Use reported?
- What is the interoperability of this system?
- How does a clinician access past medical records and share data with other specialties?
- Is there tracking for orders received and processed?
You and the selection team should be visualizing how this system might fit into your practice. Imagine sitting down with a patient and a computer station with this system in front of you. How would the interaction go? Would you feel comfortable inputting necessary clinical information, while still maintaining good patient rapport? Is the system inherently usable? If not, do you think that the system will cause unnecessary strain on timeliness of documentation?
If time allows, you may consider having a clinician sit run through a patient encounter on the demo system and input the data that might be taken during a patient encounter. This will allow for a hands on evaluation of the system and how it would be used in a patient visit.
The selection committee should have an evaluation form to be filled out during the EHR demo or shortly after completion. The same assessment should be used for all vendor demonstrations for an objective measure of the quality of the systems as they relate to the medical practice.
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