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● Think Tank external resource to be secure?

• Was the product coded following security best prac- tices?

• Has the product gone through any third-party test- ing/certifi cation?

Maintenance and administration

• Can the product be readily patched or upgraded as necessary?

• Does the system require backup? • Can access to the system be controlled? Compliance

• Does the system have the necessary functionality to meet compliance requirements?

• If appropriate, can the system be audited? • T e list here is much longer and may also include ques- tions of the vendor and other aspects of their business if the system in question involves ePHI. While it sounds basic and fundamental, it starts at the top with the organization’s strategy. T e IT department, as well as other departments, is there to execute the strategy of the senior leadership.

Helt: • Does it impact in a positive way the mission of our organization to improve the continuum of care?

• If we procure this technology, what other item may not make the budget cut, and what is the impact to our organization?

Jamie Helt, Director of Strategy and Business Development, Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences

• Have we assessed the internal skill sets to handle the implementation and rollout, the ongoing support to be handled internally/ externally,the cost associated with support (internal/external) and the future of this off ering via upgrades, refresh, etc.?

Glaser: No healthcare organization physical structure would be built without a design and blueprint that reflects what care services will be delivered and how the build- ing must function to meet the needs of caregivers and patients alike. The same holds true for building an HIT infrastructure. It begins with the most essential question of what the organization’s strategy is and how an HIT system will support this. Fundamentally, the organization must define what it wants to accomplish with an HIT system, such as support and improve existing processes or create new, more efficient processes underpinned by HIT. Then it must define what functional capabilities are required. The key is understanding the functions that the HIT system must support and what the primary users need in a system from the vantage point of understanding the workflow and processes in the various departments. How the accounting office functions is very different from how the maternity department works. And that is very different from the workflow in the oncology department.

Stein: Provider IT departments must take a critical look at new IT products and services to understand:

6 July 2014

• Where does this technology fit into my organization- specific technology stack? How will it work with our existing and emerging data sources and formats?

• Who are the intended users? How will they transi- tion from their current process to using this product? What level of training is required to achieve the productivity goal within the target time window?

• Does this technology fill a current need? How can I demonstrate ROI over time? Is it also forward looking enough to address future needs in the same space? Will we require additional components? Are they available?

• Does the technology vendor have the breadth and depth to meet our business and technology needs, even as they evolve? How does the vendor address my data life cycle?

• Does this technology satisfy our industry regulatory compliance requirements?

Rowe: What’s the cost of doing nothing, of maintaining the status quo? Quantify the opportunity cost as much as possible. Nail down prospective vendors on what they can deliver and what improvements their existing customers have seen. Second, what’s the cost of failure? If a product or ser- vice doesn’t work out, how much time and resources will you have spent implementing it? How immediately will you be able to tell whether it’s working as intended, and what’s the impact of it potentially not working for that period of time?

Baumgartner: First and foremost, the facility must develop a vision for the role of any and all IT within the organiza- tion. Without this vision, their decision-making will be limited to a case-by-case solution and not as likely to sup- port the overall mission of the entity. With that in place, it is possible to answer the following essential questions: • How will this new product or service support our vision?

• Will this new product improve our operational per- formance or provide additional detail for the use of quality outcome tracking?

• Is this new product simply a departmental solution or is it a solution that meets not only the unique departmental needs, but also support the greater requirement to disseminate the information appro- priately across the enterprise?

• Is the new product based on standards with an open interface for integration or is it simply proprietary and require extensive one-off interfaces that will be expensive to maintain?

• What is the long-term viability of the company? Will they be around for five to 10 years or are they offering such a low price that they will not be around for support and upgrades?

• Does the vision of the company support our vision? Chaiken: Organizations that do not communicate a clear


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