The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) recommends formulating personal goals before embarking on a product search, then dividing your goals into the following four categories:
Functionality (features): Includes patient encounter documentation, automating and facilitating office workflow, decision support during patient encounters, reporting that supports care management, and template customization.
Usability (speed and ease of use): Includes frequent tasks that must be done fast, peculiarities of the practice, such as computer literacy, and desired input method.
Reputation (company history, longevity, etc.): How established is the vendor? What sort of relationship would you like to have with the company? Remember that you’re not just buying software, you’re also forming a relationship with a company whose software will change over time.
Practicality (price, interfaces, support): Includes price, integrated versus interfaced practice management system, interfaces with labs, etc., internal resources needed to customize and maintain the database, etc., and overall support needs.
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