3 dental software purchasing mistakes
Three common errors to avoid when purchasing or upgrading dental software.
We are in the midst of a revolution, and changes in the dental software industry that are dictating the way dental groups and DSOs run their operations and do business. Chances are that soon you will be looking either to upgrade your present software with new features and functionality or purchase new software altogether.
However, whether you’re purchasing brand-new software technology with a new vendor or you decide to upgrade to software with your present vendor, it is important to be prepared to negotiate the contract terms.
Having personally negotiated hundreds of contracts over the years I can tell you that some vendors are hesitant initially to negotiate their standard agreements. But what you need to realize is that this is the game. You can’t get what you need unless you ask for it. So, demand they work with you.
Also, it is important to note that many healthcare attorneys, although skilled in the legal matters of practices and groups, don’t necessarily understand the nuances of IT and software contracts, especially electronic health record contracts. There are many business and technical issues in these contracts that need to be recognized and addressed, and the onus can fall on you to prepare yourself adequately. Don’t fall prey to a bad contract that could negatively impact your practice for years to come.
A software contract can be very complex and lengthy with many sections and clauses difficult to discuss in one article (I conduct lengthy workshops on the subject). But to help you get started and be more aware of the importance of this subject, here are three basic common contract mistakes to think about:
Not asking for the best price
Everybody wants a good deal, but too often providers and administrators are too intimidated to ask for a better price, or may not be sure what a “right” price should be. Vendors are adept at making you believe that you’re getting a great system at the right price. But there are many games being played on this front. It can look like you’re getting a good price for the software, but the training and implementation or support costs might be out of whack. Are the costs of interfaces in line? How can you be certain? Ask your vendor for a detailed breakdown of all costs. Remember, all items should be negotiable. You can develop a win-win negotiation strategy with your vendor. Above all, learn about marketplace pricing. If you negotiate price from a position of knowledge, you’re likely to get better terms.
Up next: More mistakes you might be making when you purchase software