EMR References - how to check, who to call

A doctor mentioned - 'I don't want to talk to reference names from EMR company's website'. A very simple statement but reveals a lot about the current thinking about the EMR buying process.

There were three steps originally involved.

1. Look at a list from your Academy, or some reference site, or ask your peers, or go to your academy meeting.

2. Call some vendors, ask for a demonstration, talk to some of their references.

Now, with the explosion of various review sites and social media, it is easy for doctors to do some homework before they start looking. You still need to do the full demonstration as other 'due diligence', but there is a tremendous amount of research done upfront.

Vendors have realized this and therefore encouraging their clients to post positive reviews online. In their eagerness to do so, some vendors 'implant' reviews. Vendors have their happy customers they want to nurture and get testimonials from.

Doctors looking to buy EMR from these vendors sometimes are a bit skeptical about talking with those clients of EMR companies since there is a perception that clients whose video testimonials are on the vendor's website may be on their 'favorites' list. Justifiably so, because more and more EMR companies are taking that route - even getting their 'friends/family' doctors to do videos.

Not all companies do this. I have talked to so many vendors and I know most of them are genuine.

So, even though you think talking to the vendor's favorite clients may have a bias, and right fully so, if you craft your questions properly, if you ask genuine questions and engage them in a dialog, you will get honest opinions beyond 'It's great, I like it'.

So, I would actually encourage you to go to Vendor's websites, identify some of their clients that have their testimonials listed, and call them directly yourself.