EMR Vendor Software Test Drives

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As is often the case on blogs, some of the best commentary is happening in the comments. This has never been more true on this blog than this week. The comments have been thoughtful and there’s been some really interesting back and forth discussion.

One example of a discussion that began in the comments is around the benefit of being able to be given a demo EMR system that you can sit down and try. I’m not talking about a demo of the EMR software by someone (often a sales person) from the EMR vendor. I’m talking about a real life system where people on their own can go around and try out the EMR software.

There are so many things involved in this discussion that I’ll just throw out a few ideas and let the discussion continue in the comments. Do you load the demo EMR software with data or no? In some ways it’s better to have exactly what they’ll give you so you have an idea of how much you’re going to need to configure when you get the system. In other ways it’s better to have one loaded with the configurations, a few patients, lab results, etc so you can see what’s possible.

Certainly there are some challenge with certain platforms being able to easily provide a demo install. Large organizations can often do this, but small organizations might have a harder time getting a demo install. This is harder with client server EMR compared to web based EMR software. However, with virtual machines and other technologies, there are a lot of interesting possibilities.

I know one organization actually does what they call pilot installs where they install the entire system for you and will take it out if you don’t like it. You don’t pay until after the pilot period. I’ll add in more details about this vendor in the comments. Are there other creative ways to demo an EMR vendor before buying?

Ok, that should kind of get the juices flowing. Let’s hear your thoughts about EMR vendors providing a demo system for people to “test drive” before purchasing the EMR. I’d also love to know which EMR vendors provide this and links to their demo system would be great as well.

So, those of you who have been lurking on the sideline. Check out the comments and why not add one of your own.