Written by: John Lynn
In a number of my recent posts and conversations the idea that providers need a way to filter through the plethora of EHR vendors that exist out there (Between 300-600 EHR vendors) has become a really compelling theme.
I think some of the challenges with filtering EHR vendors include:
1. Getting truthful information about an EHR vendor. This is especially true when it comes to pricing. There’s just a lot of bad information out there. On top of that, there’s a lot of partial information that doesn’t tell the full story of how much an EHR costs.
2. Having a way to compare the pricing of various EHR vendors. Let’s be honest, price is ALWAYS a part of the EMR selection process. However, it’s definitely a challenge for providers to try and compare prices across EHR vendors. Comparing the cost of a SaaS EHR versus a Client Server EHR takes some analysis.
I’m considering the idea of creating a website or section of one of my existing websites that’s devoted to getting truthful and complete EHR pricing information. I’m not exactly sure the right approach to do this in a successful way that’s accurate and scalable.
One direction is to go to the EHR vendors themselves and get the pricing info. Over time I think that EHR vendors would start coming to me to be listed on the price list. The key would have to be asking the EHR vendors the right questions so that we got ALL the pricing information and not just part.
The other way is to talk to doctors who’ve recently implemented a specific EHR vendor and get the pricing details that they actually incurred implemented that EHR software. This would obviously be some very interesting data. The question here is whether doctors would be willing to collect and provide that data. Plus, would there be phony “doctors” deployed by the EHR vendors to skew things?
A few other challenges with this idea. The first challenge is that EHR vendors will often change prices. Keeping up with the EHR price changes would be a challenge. The second challenge is that many EHR vendors pricing is a negotiated price. Obviously, if I’m buying software for 100 doctor practice I have more leverage to negotiate price. Maybe the key for this second challenge is to just focus on the 1-5 doc practice EMR pricing. They have much less leverage in negotiating price anyway. Plus, wouldn’t it be interesting to see which EHR vendors have drastically different pricing?
What do you think of this idea? Does it have merit? What things would I have to do to ensure that the data was interesting and useful? Would having something related to EHR pricing be better than what we have now (very little)?
What data elements would be useful to have from an EHR vendor when you’re evaluating pricing? What’s on your list of pricing questions?
Would you as a doctor or EHR vendor be interested in sharing your pricing info?
If I decide to take this on, my goal would be to provide truthful information that was valuable to providers in their filtering of EHR vendors. To make it worth my time, I’d likely put ads on the site. In fact, both things are basically what I do here on EMR and HIPAA.