Even smaller hospitals can benefit from a structured approach to buying an information technology system, said Valerie Fetters, chief financial officer of Hillsdale (Mich.) Community Health Center, speaking at a breakout session of the Healthcare Financial Management Associations Annual National Institute in Seattle.
Hillsdale, which is partway through the implementation of a new IT system at the 61-bed hospital, formally included its senior staff in the selection process, Fetters said. It was a full team participating from beginning to end, Fetters said.
With the assistance of a consultant, hospital executives identified IT vendors that had a relatively large number of existing clients with similar attributes and needs of Hillsdale. You want a vendor thats familiar with your size facility, Fetters said.
Ensuring there was adequate training, maintaining a competitive negotiation process and meeting with the IT installation team as part of its review, also were key parts of selection and implementation for Hillsdale.