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Health IT Contracts Offer Little Protection For Buyers–Be Sure To Take Out Support Contracts for “When” the So

Posted Aug 24 2010 6:27pm

There’s a big use of the word “when” because it’s going to happen.  Nobody gets software today that operates “perfectly”.  We would all like that very much, self included but it just doesn’t happen.  We are reminded of this every Tuesday with our Windows updates when you stop and think about it.  Every operating system, Apple and Linux updates their software too either for additional functionality or security hole leaks.  image

If you use and subscribe to a “software as a service” model, be sure you are able to back up your data locally.  This is not having the entire program loaded on your local network, just the back end data only.  Since so much has gone to the web we don’t have the same assurance from the creator end that we used to when it was only on the desktop or local server.  Even systems that are installed on a local server still rely on web services to add and populate additional information so there’s really no such thing as a complete closed system any more.  This is part of the reason it’s taking so long to get the final meaningful use provisions in place too as one thing we can count on is that technology will throw us a new left curve every day from here on out.  Be wise and get the support contracts if offered up front.  BD 

As healthcare providers purchase electronic health record software and other health IT to meet meaningful use requirements, they must insist that the legal contracts they sign with vendors will protect their interests.

Last week at the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) 2010 Legal Electronic Health Record (EHR) Conference in Chicago, Steven Fox, a lawyer focusing on health IT issues with law firm Post & Schell, urged healthcare providers to ask themselves key questions when acquiring EHR technology to achieve meaningful use, including: What technology and services should be purchased? What is to be paid for and when? How to assure that requirements will be met? And what happens if the product fails?

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