Attending an AHIMA annual meeting is all about schedules and keeping up with the overwhelming number of opportunities to learn the pressing HIM issues and newest implications of legislation; and about networking with peers who are walking the same challenging path as you.
The reality is that in today’s ever changing world of healthcare, everyone is running and that was the pace in Chicago. Talking with attendees of the 2012 AHIMA annual meeting on the bus ride back and forth from the hotel to McCormack Place, many of the conversations centered on how to possibly squeeze more out of each day. Every day of the conference is filled with terrific speakers, education and training opportunities.
During breaks, many rush to the exhibit hall for a chance to sign up to win great prizes and to engage with vendors about products and services that will help them achieve specific requirements or improve key benchmarks. The exhibit hall is a very busy place and it’s a bit of a scramble to get around and sign up for the best prizes, let alone have an informative conversation with a vendor.
If you came to AHIMA looking for a service or product you may have already, or will at some time, look through websites, read some material and ask some of your friends for advice. Many times you start your search with a criterion of benchmarks and expectations, your own or those mandated to you. The challenge comes when you start engaging in the material and conversations with vendors. It’s difficult to dig down below the surface of the slick, colorful marketing material and polished sales information that sounds much the same.
Seeing, hearing and reading all of this information can easily divert you from your priorities, causing you to wonder how to avoid the hypnotizing effect from information overload.
What do you do? Take charge. Be clear and focused on your final outcome – how you want things to look in the end. Make a list that allows you to compare and contrast.
I’ve watched hospital administrators and HIM staff struggle through this process, many of them too busy to separate a vendor’s fact from fiction, not knowing what questions to ask. To help these people take charge of the process, I’ve compiled a vendor analysis checklist. It’s a series of questions designed to analyze the services and offerings of medical transcription providers. The questions all originate from conversations with hospital staff. As the questions were developed, these same people reviewed and refined the content of these questions.
If you would like to have a copy of this worksheet then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-288-1987. I hope it will be of value to you and ask that you send along any feedback and suggestions to help increase the usefulness of this tool.
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