Four ways to stay in control of your EHR software demos

The following four ways tips can assist a practice to stay in control of EHR software demos by collecting information a practice needs to guide the EHR selection process, rather than allowing the vendor’s sales pitch to dictate the information that is presented. The following tips provide an outline of how your practice can avoid being taken for a ride by vendor sales teams, and how to get the information you need out of a presentation (rather than what they want you to know).

1. Be clear from the start about your expectations

When conducting the EHR selection process it is important to have a set of clearly defined objectives regarding what your practice expects to get from an EHR. For example, if your practice’s objectives for establishing a new or replacement EHR is to improve patient engagement and improve quality of care, the vendor demonstration should be directed toward providing evidence of how their product will meet these needs.

2. Ensure the demo emulates real practice conditions

An EHR vendor demo should emulate real-world conditions. To pull the most useful information from a demonstration, develop scenarios prior to the demonstration that simulate patient scenarios that occur within your practice. However, it is important to note that a vendor may require several weeks’ notice to prepare these scenarios.   

Get the most out of EHR vendor demos with this five step guide to the demo process

3. Appoint a facilitator to control the demonstration

EHR vendors who provide a demo to a practice are there to make a sale. As such, the natural tendency from someone trying to highlight all a product’s best attributes will want to try to slip in as many mentions of “value-added” features as possible. The problem in this tendency rests in the fact that this can cause vendors to stray from the agenda and scenarios that a practice will want to see. A way to prevent a vendor from straying off course is to appoint a facilitator to control the vendor demonstration by who is tasked with leading the demonstration process and holding the vendor accountable for presenting only relevant information.

4. When trying to control a demo do not close yourself off to new information

Remaining in control of the demonstration process is important to an effective selection process. However, in trying to control the process to make sure a vendor presents information relevant to the selection process, it is also important to not develop tunnel vision which can result in practice only focusing on a narrow set of goals, and disregarding other information that may arise in the process of vendor selection. As such, a vendor demonstrating a product to your selection team should stay on task, however, if useful information appears that does not fit the parameters of what your practice has requested, make sure that the selection team explores these areas.    

A vendor demo can represent an excellent opportunity to collect valuable information about an EHR product. However, this opportunity should be used to the advantage of the consumer and not simply as a one-sided presentation by the vendor. By taking control of the vendor process and avoiding key errors a practice can use the demo to refine their selection process.

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Jeff Green

About the author…

Jeff Green, MPH, JD works as a freelance writer and consultant in the Healthcare information Technology Space.

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Jeff Green