These questions are designed to help you evaluate a vendor’s performance during a live chiropractic EHR demo.
This checklist allows you to compare vendors directly. Be sure to write down your own questions to ask each vendor and notes about the software so that you can can compare systems before making a decision.
1. What characteristics of your EHR do you hope to highlight with this demo?
Ultimately, you are looking for a system that understands chiropractic care and for a vendor that is responsive to the needs of your clinic. Your own needs may be different from other chiropractic clinics, so be sure to identify what you are looking for in advance of demo day, if possible.
2. Are all of the patient scenarios you are using in this demo realistic? Is all the patient data realistic to what we would see in a chiropractic clinic? Will you show me what happens when you input strange or unrealistic information?
If the vendor is using nonsense chiropractic notes or inputting numbers that are nonsensical and the system is not creating alerts, then the software may not be capable of recognizing these types of errors. Sometimes, vendors enter obviously unlikely information such as a 1000 pound weight for a child, or they simply make up information for the demo charts.
If the patient data your vendor uses seems realistic, ask the vendor to change one of the values to some unrealistic value. Ideally, you are looking for a system that will catch mistakes and flag accidental entries, so this is a good time to test these features.¹
3. How big is the database you are using for this demonstration?
Some vendors use a very small database of two or three patient files during an EHR demo. This makes the software appear to be very responsive and fast even if it is considerably slower with a normal patient load.
Ask if you can see how the software performs with a typical patient load similar to yours.¹
4. How long does it take to load/perform [particular EHR function]? Could you show me?
Sometimes vendors use special tricks to hide the actual length of time their system takes to load. If the demo is through online meeting software, for example, the vendor may have the ability to pause the visual demo and ask you questions while they are actually waiting for their EHR to catch up. This way, they can hide the lag time. Other red flags include opening other tabs or screen views while their EHR is loading something or asking you several questions at once in an attempt to distract you.
If you suspect this during a demo, ask your vendor to show you how long the process takes.¹
5. May I practice using the software myself during the demo? Can I have mouse and keyboard control to see how it works?
Whenever possible, you need to get real-world, direct practice using the EHR during the demo. This is key to evaluating the software functionality and feel.²
6. May I see how the voice recognition function works? [Or other desired functions based on your own wish list.]
Ask about the features that are important to you. If you are interested in voice recognition features that allow you to dictate your notes, ask if you can test this feature during your demo. Be sure and also ask about how well this feature works and if you will need someone to audit all of your notes for accuracy after every visit, or if some other feature allows you to record accurately.³
In advance of your demo, it is important to decide which features are important to you and which features should be avoided. Keep in mind that some salespeople are unfamiliar with all the features chiropractors use.
If possible, you want to find a vendor who understands chiropractic enough to avoid wasting your time during the demo with features you probably will not use or will rarely use, such as prescription drug functions. You can also ask them in advance of the demo to avoid showing features that do not interest you.²
Click to Download a PDF version of this checklist, which includes spaces at the end to write down your own questions.
¹CareCloud. “5 EHR Demo Tricks to Avoid.” CareCloud Blog. http://www.carecloud.com/blog/ehr-demo-tricks-to-avoid/. Published: January 2012. Accessed: September 2016.
²Walker, KS. “EHR Software Demonstration Tips and Tricks 2.0: What Providers Need to Watch Out For.” EverythingEHR Blog. http://everythingehr.com/watch-out-for-ehr-sales-demo-trickery/. Published: March 2016. Accessed: September 2016.
³Healthit.gov. “EHR Vendor Demonstration Scenario, Evaluation and Vendor Questions Toolkit.” U.S. National Learning Consortium. https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/tools/nlc-ehr-demonstration-scenario-evaluation-vendor-questions.docx. Published: June 2012. Accessed: September 2016.