Important EHR EMR Contract Questions

Thirteen questions to ask now to make sure you are not the unlucky victim of a bad EHR/EMR contract.  Read the contract for the answers!

  1. What are the hours Support is offered?
  2. Is there a limit on how many times I can call Support each month?
  3. Is there an extra fee for after-hours Support or my “additional” calls each month?
  4. Is there a charge for standard HL7 interfaces?
  5. Is there a charge for new releases?
  6. For client-server systems – what happens if I discontinue the support/maintenance contract?  Will I still get new releases?  What if I want to go back on Support later?
  7. For client-server systems – what are my responsibilities for maintaining my server(s) operating system, hot patches and new releases?  Will my Support be voided if I have missed performing an update to the server, operating system or EHR system?
  8. How long is the contract?  What is the $ penalty if I want to cancel early?
  9. Is there a “free-look” period or an opportunity to cancel the contract in the first 30-60 days and get my fees returned?
  10. Can I get a copy of my data in a standard format if I cancel?  (This is equally important with client-server systems as with Internet-based systems because the data on client-server systems is often encoded.)
  11. Is there guaranteed system availability?
  12. How long does Support have to respond to my Support issues?  What happens to my fees if the vendor does not meet the Support standards?
  13. Does the vendor agree to maintain Certification for the EHR Stimulus funding?