Request for Information/Request for Proposals
Selecting an AIMS is a complex process that requires careful consideration not only by the anesthesiology department, whose work flow will be dramatically affected by the choice, but also by the IT department of the hospital. In addition, input from stakeholders who use other hospital information systems (e.g., Medical Records, Pharmacy, Lab, Nursing, Biomedical Engineering) should be solicited because the deployment of the AIMS likely will impact these areas in some way.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide a methodology that anesthesia departments can use to evaluate and compare AIMS products. It is essential to recognize that it is only during the selection and negotiation process that the institution will have any leverage with respect to delivered functionality, service requirements, custom modifications, data conversion, and remedies for noncompliance with contract terms. Failure to specify terms and expectations in writing will likely lead to disappointment when oral promises that were made by the AIMS sales team remain unfulfilled. Unfortunately, a customer receiving a system that does not meet expectations is more the rule than the exception when it comes to the purchase of any complex software solution. It is not always the case that the sales team lied in an effort to close the deal; in many cases, the fault can be traced to the salesperson’s lack of understanding of the potential client’s needs or his inadequate knowledge of the delivered functionality of the product. Thus, it is important to specify in considerable detail the requirements that the AIMS must meet. The two main tools that should be used by the customer to specify the requirements that their AIMS should meet – the request for information (RFI) and the request for proposals (RFPs)—are described in this chapter.
KeywordsHospital Information System Explanatory Comment Anesthesia Record Anesthesia Information Management System Chief Information Officer
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