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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Asking about support and update practices

Your vendor relationship does not end after go-live. You and the vendor are in this thing for the long haul, so you should account for the fact that people and situations change. What works for your EHR software today may be obsolete in five years. So spend some time finding out about the support and update options your vendor provides. You spend a great deal of time researching, training, preloading, and implementing — you also want to keep your software humming along and as current as possible.

warning_bomb.eps If your vendor rep is unsure about the ongoing support services the vendor provides or cannot provide you with details about how updates and upgrades are implemented, you may want to rethink your choice. Support and update practices are vital to the longevity and health of your EHR, so you have to find a vendor who takes system maintenance as seriously as you do.

When you sit down for your EHR heart-to-heart, confirm the following with your vendor rep:

How often is the system upgraded and is there a regular release schedule?

Are there any costs associated with an upgrade?

Will the vendor supply any support resources for training with any major upgrade?

What steps will the vendor take to ensure regulatory compliance?

Will the vendor provide regular software upgrades or updates based on legislation?

Does the vendor have a typical Service Level Agreement ...

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