The majority of people meeting with HIMSS exhibitors are probably looking for products to meet a specific business need; like a computer-assisted coding tool to assist with their ICD-10 project. Or perhaps a revenue cycle management application to improve cash flow. As you view the hundreds of companies exhibiting at HIMSS, I suggest keeping these five considerations in mind:
Built with Open Components
Is the vendor software built with any “open component technologies?” An “open platform” design is no longer enough. Healthcare platforms built with “open component technologies” can be layered together and achieve greater value from the sum of their individual parts.
Utilizes an “As-a-Service” Business Model
Service-oriented business models are key to taming technical and financial challenges associated with modern software products. Look for vendors with SaaS (software), PaaS (platform) and/or IaaS. (infrastructure) business models.
Uses “Vendor-Agnostic” Standard(s)
Being locked into any specific “standard” – especially a standard developed and perpetuated by a vendor or small group of vendors - is not a good thing. Look for products that use the most open and accessible development languages, file systems and operating software available.
Allows Easy Entry and Exit of Your Data
Does the product include the ability to integrate, exchange, translate and manage data securely and on a bi-directional basis? Ideally, the architecture of the product would allow "interface enabling" on a realistic and cost-effective basis.
Available Expertise, Guidance & Tools
What degree and combination of business, technical and operational expertise will be needed to get up and running on the product? Will a lot of expensive and potentially hard to find consulting services be needed to implement, configure and operate the product? Can the vendor provide education, training and knowledge transfer supported via best practices and on a collaborative basis?
So while you walk the exhibitor halls of HIMSS 2013 looking for new products to enable your healthcare mission, consider how the above may impact the overall value and longevity of the product(s) you eventually select.