Helpful Tips for Interviewing EHR Vendor Candidates

Did you get recruited to help your behavioral health organization find a new electronic health record (EHR) platform? If so, you might be asking yourself just how exactly your team should go about evaluating different vendor candidates. The secret is actually all about asking the right questions and getting to better understand the nuances of what each platform and vendor partner has to offer.

If your team is going through the EHR selection process, here are a few questions you should consider asking in order to find the system that can best support your agency.

1. “How do you support state reporting requirements?”

In contrast to acute care, behavioral health and human services agencies depend on state funding to a far greater degree. And, related to that, funding from state issued contracts, grants and Medicaid reimbursements typically require agencies to deliver comprehensive reports that include information about the services rendered and the clients under their care. During the EHR search process, one of the first questions you will likely ask is about their level of reporting support they offer in your state. In addition to that, it’s also important to ask vendor candidates if they have in-house resources dedicated to maintaining and expanding state reporting capabilities.

2. “Do your product leadership team members have clinical experience?”

Most leading EHR vendors actually employ professionals with clinical backgrounds to lead their product development teams. By hiring team members that have a blend of technical and clinical experience, EHR vendor teams can leverage those unique skill sets to build technology that reflects the actual workflows that clinicians prefer. While you can’t guarantee the success of any EHR platform, vendor partners with team members of diverse professional backgrounds are more likely to build clinically-friendly platforms.

3. “What is your product strategy for supporting value based care within your EHR?”

We’ve watched a lot of movement in behavioral healthcare in recent years as more states migrate from fee-for-service to managed care and value based care reimbursement models. And, this shift is likely not going to slow down. It’s important to take this into consideration when evaluating your EHR platform options. Be sure to ask vendor candidates how they currently support agencies who are transitioning to or operate within value based care models. Specifically, identify if those platforms support those unique clinical, reporting and billing requirements.

If you’re in the process of selecting a new EHR vendor partner, don’t be afraid to ask these important questions during the evaluation process. It can help you more effectively narrow down your search and find the technology solution that meets your current and future needs.

In the meantime, download: How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives.

You can use the worksheets and information included to kick off conversations with your organization’s leadership and design an EHR search process that will empower you to find the best EHR technology for your team.

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