An Example of the Vendor Selection Process in Healthcare

As more healthcare organizations move to leading-edge technologies, they are looking to optimize IT ecosystems with apps that cut costs and improve workflows. These efforts involve efficiently managing the vendor selection process and overseeing the implementation of new systems.

My company, T2 Tech Group, helps health systems manage the various phases of the vendor management lifecycle. While we remain a vendor agnostic advisory group, we work on behalf of our clients to identify multiple solution sets that we believe will best fit their unique business needs.  As part of a recent project, I collaborated with an organization that was looking to augment their VDI environment with a better print management solution.

Last year, T2 Tech published a white paper on the early phases of vendor relations. In this blog, I want to outline the approaches my team used to review a host of vendors and select an optimal solution for a client.

Vendor Assessment and Analysis

With a large market, we had to sort through a wide range of products and help our client select the most appropriate solution for their business needs. This meant only spending time on the most viable vendors and conducting a diligent analysis of candidates that could provide considerable value.

The solution had to ease user workflows, help the hospital meet compliance and facilitate easy maintenance. Knowing this, we helped the client find a solution that would allow for user mobility, meeting PHI requirements, better IT support and output statistics that would streamline maintenance. Additionally, we had to assess how the technology would be integrated into current and future state electronic health record plans.

Many vendors are constantly adapting premium solutions for healthcare environments. After looking at the print solution market, we shortlisted the following six vendors for our client to consider: UniPrint, UniFlow, Plus Technologies, ThinPrint, Celiveo, and PaperCut. Once identified, we assessed these potential candidates by creating scoring criteria that factored in relevant items, such as integration with current systems, capabilities, costs and hardware requirements.

After assessing each of the six vendors based on the chosen criteria, our team narrowed the list to two vendors that we felt best fit the unique business needs of our client. We then brought the two candidates in to perform onsite solution demos while the IT and clinical staff collaborated to create a weighted survey of questions to conclude a recommendation. By physically meeting with the vendors, collaborating with clinical users and IT staff, and reviewing proposals/questionnaires, we had the tools needed to recommend an optimal solution.

Recommending the best choice

It was ultimately up to the client to decide which solution best fit their unique business needs; however, to help them make an informed decision, we prepared a recommendation report that showed a thorough evaluation of these six vendors and provided a budget estimate for each candidate.

Ultimately, we recommended Plus Technologies as the vendor because of their presentation in the demo, ease of use with hardware agnostic printing environments, and pricing models available. Plus Technologies also offered valuable experience and expertise in the healthcare space with various implementations working with different EHRs.

With the procurement process ending, the client will need to integrate the new print solution with the workflows of diverse clinical areas. We will continue working with them and will oversee the implementation to make sure new technology improves clinical workflows and hospital operations in a timely manner.

To provide insight, we will also conduct an ROI analysis that shows the differences before and after implementation. Soon, the new print solution will be providing considerable value, and the client’s team will have the documentation and metrics needed to showcase improvements. The work around vendor relations is always ongoing, but this is an example of the beginning of the process. I hope these insights can be of value to you as you manage changes in your IT ecosystem.

2018-06-22T10:05:13+00:00

About the Author:

Nikhil Raj
Nikhil is an experienced healthcare technologist. His past successes encompass medical interoperability projects that included vital signs technology, lab results systems, fetal monitoring and medication dispensing, and his programming experience includes coding and debugging in Java, C and C++. At T2 Tech Group, he facilitates and manages clinical projects in all aspects of implementation and leverages his clinical applications expertise to help health systems improve their EHRs. In his most recent position before joining T2 Tech, Nikhil was a technology architect for Women’s Health at Cerner Corporation. 

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