Vendor demonstrations can provide valuable information when comparing electronic medical record (EMR) products. Physicians need to know, however, that vendor demonstrations are time-consuming and that demonstrations are inherently variable from day-to-day, salesperson-to-salesperson and from vendor-to-vendor. As discussed in previous blogs, it is best for physicians to first identify what they need an EMR to do and then narrow down the list of suitable EMR products (that meet those needs) to a handful before arranging vendor demos. This prevents wasting clinician's time on demonstrations of EMR products that will not meet their needs and will improve decision-making.The following list of suggestions will help the physician not only get the most out of the vendor demonstrations, but also help compensate for the inherent variability between them:
- Conference room with enough chairs?
- Internet access?
- Conference room
- Conference phone
- Computer/internet access
- Projector (if needed for expected of people)
- Access codes, phone numbers, IDs, passwords?
- Software download before Webcast?
- Onsite demo 1 ½- 2 hours
- Webcasts 1- 1 ½ hours
- Narrow initial list down to manageable number, perhaps 3-6?
- May need to invite 2 or 3 vendors back for second or third demo towards end of selection process
EMR Implementation Guide provides an outline of topics on the implementation process