5 things to look for in a healthcare software vendor

March 23, 2016 Oi Hua Lee

There are a ton of companies out there that are offering you the latest and greatest products designed to help your business in one way or another. All of them do something their competitor doesn’t do, or they do it faster and better. So, when it comes to choosing a vendor what should you look for to ensure you’re making the right choice?
1.       Look for a company that invests in research and development
Don’t be afraid to ask how much of a company’s revenue goes back into R&D. After all, it’s essentially an investment in technology and future capabilities, which is transformed into new products processes and services. Asking this will give you an idea of the company’s vision for the future – a company that doesn’t reinvest into its own product is short-sighted, will never evolve and is likely to leave you high and dry somewhere down the road. You want a company who is committed to bringing you new and innovative solutions, or can – at the very least – improve on their existing products.
2.       Choose a product that is easy to use
One of the biggest challenges hospitals face when introducing a new tool – no matter the size or the type of tool – is getting people to use it. Understandably, as the introduction of new software is perceived as something additional to do or learn. The easier and more straightforward the software is for them to use, the more likely your staff will be willing to welcome it into their daily routine.
3.       Find something that suits your organization's needs
Every hospital is different. Be it in size, specializations or workflow – no two hospitals are the same. There’s no sense in having tools or fields that you won’t use, or a product that uses terminology that’s not found within your organization. Find a company who will listen, be accommodating and is willing to customize the software to suit your facility.
4.       Use a something that will make your life easier
Think about your day, and the moments when you’ve said to yourself “if only…” or “I wish…” and look for a product that fulfills those needs. Whether that’s providing you with robust reports so you don’t have to turn to your IT department, real-time alerts or simply gathering more data to jumpstart a patient safety or quality of care initiative, choose a product that helps alleviate your pain points.
5.       Pick something others are using

You likely have relationships with other hospitals or people in the same field as you – people who have been through this process themselves. Call them up and chat with them to see what they use. Ask about the implementation process, what problems they were experiencing prior and what the product was able to help them solve. Some of the best advice you’ve received throughout your lifetime have been from your friends, so why stop now?

It’s easy to get flustered when you’re constantly receiving phone calls and emails from vendors touting all their features and benefits. Knowing what to look for makes the whole process much easier for everyone involved, and in the end you can feel truly confident that you’re getting what you needed. Until next time, good luck with the search! 

Wondering if building is a better than buying software? We break down the pros and cons of both to help you make the best decision. 

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