Tips for Assessing Your EHR Vendor’s Financial Situation

Posted on February 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Recognizing and learning how your EHR company is doing financially is usually easier said than done. However, there are often some indicators that should trigger you to look a little harder at the financial stability of your EHR company.  Here’s a list of things you can watch for to assess your EHR company’s financial situation.

  1. Check out the corporate website to see announcements of new EHR sales.
  2. Measure support response times.  A slow down in response might be a bad sign.
  3. Follow your EHR company’s support forums to measure activity and hear from other users of the EHR software.  If no one is getting their support requests answered (see 2), then that’s a bad sign.
  4. Stay familiar with the sales and support people at your EHR company.  A mass exodus might be a sign.
  5. Ask your EHR vendor.  I always love open transparent communication.  It can do amazing things.
  6. Watch conferences your EHR vendor normally attends.  Not attending one conference might just be a change in marketing.  Not attending any conferences might be an indication something’s going on.
  7. Ask about your EHR companies online at places like EMRUpdate.  Not only could you hear from other users, but most EHR companies don’t like bad PR and reply to public requests in a more timely manner.

None of these are fool proof methods.  However, seeing a number of these together should cause you to investigate a little further.  As I’ve seen in a number of different software companies, the company usually gets really quiet before it fails.  Occassionally a company has so much business that it stops communicating and responding.  However, most companies that are doing well love to show off their successes.  

Don’t think this is all doom and gloom.  Look at this more like a wake up call.  Are you prepared if something like this happens?  Is your contract such that you can still use the EHR if your EHR company does fail?  Who owns the data in your EHR?  Have you created a backup plan if something like this happens?

There are a lot of options available, but you have to plan for it.  Make it part of your disaster recovery policies and if something like this happens to your EHR company you’ll be prepared and not fear.