Best Way to Evaluate any Product - Ask - "And Then What Happens?"

Seth Godin's blog below got me thinking. This is how we should evaluate software and technology products.

A simple dialog can turn opinions into plans (or perhaps, into less tightly held opinions).

We ask, "and then what happens?"

Flesh it out. Tell us step by step. The more detail the better.

No miracles allowed. And it helps if each step is a step that's worked before, somewhere and sometime else. The other question that helps with this is, "has that step ever worked before?"

We don't have a shortage of loud and strongly held points of view about business, culture, or technology. But it may be that finding the time to draw a map helps us get to where we want to go (or to realize that we need a new map). 

What does all this have to do with Product/Software Evaluation?

When doctors buy EMR software, majority of them make the mistake of doing an improper evaluation and testing before buying. This leads to dissatisfaction and practice inefficiencies. Medical clinics have a lot of moving parts and workflows. Doctors will evaluate from the clinical perspective. Office managers and billing staff evaluate the systems from their own workflow point of view.

Where it gets complicated is that they focus on inefficiencies and dissatisfaction with their previous software. They assume that other parts of the system work fine. The evaluation needs to happen as if you are buying a system for the first time.

Every step of the process must be evaluated independently.

Do your homework.

This requires a lot of homework. Start by documenting every step of the process. This is more difficult than it sounds, because you have been doing things for a long time and you take things for granted. You don't do not feel the necessity to document simple steps. Once all the steps and workflow have been documented, this is where you need to ask the vendor, 'then what happens?' Keep on asking this question until you know the exact steps that you have to take in that software to do your job - everyone's job.

There is another side benefit of doing this. It will prevent future finger-pointing. In majority of the cases many unspoken things lead to discontent. How many times have I heard, "I thought you said...", Or, ... "You never told me this..."

Do yourself a favor, and keep on asking "and then what happens?". Spend as much time as necessary with the vendor evaluating the product.

Best EMR Software in the Market - Who is it?

  There is probably not one EMR software vendor that truly believes theirs is NOT the Best EMR software in the market. And oh yes, there is always a 'Best'.

I just want to be sure we are clear - I do not equate Best to the most expensive. Best is in the eyes of the beholder. Best is determined not by you, but your customer. Not prospect, but Customer. By implication, your customers know more about your EMR Software than you do. They can (and will) tell you the reason(s) why.

Most vendors make the mistake of pushing what they think are the reasons why their software is good and best. Your logic may not be  the reason why your Customers buy from you.

Ask Your Customers

If you've been reading my blogs, you will find this a common theme - your Customers know better than you. They are your 'marketing consultants'. Engage them in a dialog.

With a sea of EMR Competitors, your prospects are drowning in the madness and chaos of products that range from absolute 'disaster' to 'Brilliant'. If you genuinely think your product is the Best EMR in the market, then rather than spending millions to shout from Roof tops, figure out a way to have the people that care - your clients - talk about it.

And now, the Toughest Challenge: 

What does 'Best' Mean?

Again, Beauty is in the eyes of Beholder. Talk to the Beholder, she will tell you!