Developing your RFI

A request for information (RFI) is a cover letter and overall description of your project goals that you send to vendors. Think of the RFI as the initial way to communicate some core data about you and your practice to the vendors to learn about how their products can best support you. Set a deadline for your vendors to return the RFI; two to three weeks is usually sufficient.

tip.eps For each vendor, ask the same questions and capture the same information so that you can compare apples to apples and be fair in the process.

Practice information

Take the opportunity to describe your practice to the vendor. The more it knows about you, the better it will serve your needs. Provide the following information about your practice:

Practice specialty, including single specialty versus multispecialty clinic

Practice size and location, including working in multiple sites or needs for remote access from home

Total number of employees by role

Use of fellows, residents, medical students, nursing students, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants

Primary language(s) of your patients

Onsite resources, such as lab, radiology, and pharmacy

Existing practice management system and other potential interface needs

Existing computer hardware

Current Internet network information (DSL, cable modem, T1, or none)

Vendor company information

Picking a vendor is more than just finding some ...

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