Vendor Selection Criteria: Planning and Implementation Approach

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The first step in selecting a right vendor that will ensure a successful EMR implementation is to ensure a very thought out plan for the entire circle of the project and this plan will drive vendor selection approach and all the other key project decisions. In developing this plan, the project team need to consider a systematic framework that address the following factors (Nambisan, Kreps & Polit, 2013).

Having a solid project plan is the master key to a successful health information technology project. The following are useful tips to guide a health IT project of any size: [1]

  • Designate one person as project lead or coordinator.
  • Define clear objectives and timelines for the project.
  • Create an action plan with start and end dates for each step in the plan.
  • Ensure that a system for providing feedback (whether positive or negative) is set in place. Deviations from the project plan should be addressed.
  • Formulate a good problem-solving approach for any problems or set-backs that may arise during the project.
  • Prepare evaluation assessment criteria to assess the project for improvements as it approaches completion.

The acquisition of an EHR system can sometimes be a tedious task. Establishing a selection process helps to make the task easier as well as decrease the risks associated in obtaining an EHR system. The following steps may be used when deciding to purchase an EHR vendor:

  • Establish a work team to create a work plan
  • Research the essential functions of EHR systems
  • Familiarize yourself with language commonly used in technology
  • Organize a readiness assessment and analysis of workflow
  • List potential vendors
  • Review vendor presentations
  • Make a final vendor selection

In order to make a vendor selection, assessment, evaluation, and planning must take place. Following the necessary steps for vendor selection will greatly decrease the amount of problems that may occur during the process. Also be sure to include the input of other professions, consultants and specialists for support.[2]

The HITS framework helps conceptualize patient safety related to health IT, both in terms of risks emanating from health IT and its uses and how health IT might be harnessed to enhance patient safety. [3]


  1. Nancy M Lorenzi, Angelina Kouroubali, Don E Detmer and Meryl Bloomrosen (2009). How to successfully select and implement electronic health records (EHR) in small ambulatory practice settings.
  2. Johnson, E. (2006). Selecting an Electronic Medical Record System for the Physician Practice. Retrieved September 23, 2015, from
  3. Singh, H., & Sittig, D. F. (2015). Measuring and improving patient safety through health information technology: The Health IT Safety Framework. BMJ Quality & Safety, bmjqs-2015.

Micro Level (Individual) Factors

Key issues at this level will include:

  • The key stakeholders
  • The user interfacing and friendliness
  • loss of productivity considerations (Phased vs. Big Bang approach)
  • Computer skill level of the the category of users? [1]

Macro Level (Environmental) Factors

Meso Level (Organizational) Factors