How hospital CIOs can better negotiate with vendors

Close to 30 percent of hospital CIOs polled this month by healthsystemCIO.com expressed worry that trying to negotiate lower costs with technology vendors has the potential to negatively impact future services.

Additionally, 78 percent of respondents said they believed that negotiation processes had at least "somewhat of an impact" on their relationships with vendors, with half of those respondents indicating that they had an "enormous impact."

One responding CIO told healthsystemCIO.com that provider executives should not strive for a "win-lose" outcome. "I think you need to be careful in striking the right balance in negotiation," the CIO said. "[A win-lose outcome] increases the risk that the arrangement turns out later to be lose-lose. The vendor needs to win, too."

For the survey, healthsystemCIO.com reached out to its 241-member CIO advisory panel.

Half of all respondents said they don't think there are enough resources available to help CIOs improve the ability to negotiate, with one of those respondents calling the process of dealing with vendors "more of an art than a science."

Late last month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT published a guidance document to help providers better understand electronic health record contract terms. The guidance identifies seven provisions commonly found in vendor contracts, explains what they mean, what electronic health record purchasers need to know, and other related issues.

A webinar conducted by the American Bar Association's Health Law Section earlier this summer, meanwhile, compared IT executive-vendor negotiations to marriage.

To learn more:
- check out the healthsystemCIO.com survey

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