Population Management is an EHR Requirement

You don’t hear folks talk a lot about population management when they are discussing EHRs. To me this is a key capability and should be central to the decision making process. Sure it great to have all of the clinical information at your physician’s fingertips during the exam room visit. But success in a pay-for-performance world (P4P) requires the care team to be more proactive.

A good EHR should have a worklisting system (or tools to create one) that allows schedulers to see which patients most need to get into the doctor’s office so they can call (or automatically email) them. Patients need to be hounded to get the care they need.

Mr Weider, it is time to get your prostate checked. It isn’t pleasant – but it is a lot better than late stage prostate cancer. This is the kind of care that procrastinators like me really need.

Software Selections

It is very common for a new software selection to be determined by a scoring system. I am sure most of you have seen this. The selection team identifies the various considerations and assigns them a weight. Then, usually through demonstrations, the team assingns a ranking to each of the considerations It might look something like this:

Vendor B
Vendor C
Vendor D
Vendor E
Weight Weighted
Alignment with Ministry preferred platforms 25 75 75 50 0 75
Image retrieval speeds 75 300 225 300 300 225
Klas Rankings 25 125 100 75 75 100
Licensing 10 40 40 20 20 30
Meditech Integration 50 250 150 150 150 200
Support 20 60 60 80 80 60
Upgradeability 20
80 80 100 40 40
Voice recognition
15 30 75 75 75 75

960 805 850 740 805

This was actually an RFI scoring matrix we used to whittle down vendors. An actual PACS scoring matrix should be much more complex. But, you get the idea. Yes, we did choose Amicas and we are very happy with the decision.

The best thing about this approach is that it makes the selection more objective. Approving bodies like executive teams and boards love that.

But, I often find that this kind of scoring system can fail a selection team. I frequently see these scores end up to be within a couple of percent of each other. Because the process of weighting is based upon gut, they really present subjective results in an objective looking way.

In my mind the ideal selection chooses the least expensive option that meets all of the critical capabilities. That is, I think price should be balanced against the feature function scores.

It is common in ERP selections to see vendors chosen based upon bells and whistles that will never be implemented. Remember, we use less than half of the features of the software that we buy. Be sure not to make your purchase decision based upon those unused features. Especially if you are paying good money.