Pre-Determining how the system will function is the only way you can determine which system will fully meet your needs. This can be done internally but utilizing a 3rd part workflow designer. If you are a do it yourself kind of place figure out what you are doing currently and how it would need to change to be better. One of the biggest mistakes made is allowing an equipment vendor to design the vision for a patient call system. Yes, they have experience but they are also partial to the system they are providing.
To put it in perspective, one of the largest personal purchase decisions you will make is buying a house. When evaluating houses inevitably you will begin to picture yourself in that house – what you will be doing? If you visit the house and the listing agent (seller's rep) is there – they are going to direct your eye to all of the “great” features and downplay any of the features their house is lacking. For example, if the house is a split entry the selling agent is not going to point out to you that you will be climbing stairs every week with multiple trips to carry in groceries. They will be directing your attention to beautiful view of the Cul-De-Sac and how your kids will love playing there.
The same is true for Nurse Call (stay with me techy geeks) If you have all of the Nurse Call Vendors present and you do not know what is important to you – then they will tell you what is important to you based on their systems capabilities. This is called features based selling. It’s not wrong or deceptive. It’s them presenting their product in the best way possible. It’s only deceptive if you ask them if their system can do something and they tell you it can when it can’t. Or they sell you a “road-mapped” item as current.
Entering the house with your top 10 criteria is the best way to approach purchasing houses. Understanding why you are purchasing is crucial. Has your family expanded, therefore you need more room? Are you getting older (or plan to grow old in the house) and need fewer steps? Carry this thought process into purchasing a nurse call system.
The best tactic for reviewing vendors is to provide them with pre-determined workflow prior to their presentation then let them explain how they would provide you with that workflow. Verify they can meet the expectation. At that point they can show you additional items you may find of interest based on their products specific capabilities. This IS valuable information because your core need is being met. Their additional “features” then become the icing on the cake.
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