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    How to take charge of your software implementation

    Implementation and training oftentimes don’t go as planned ... but there are ways to make it simpler.


    How do you hold your vendor accountable?

    As discussed earlier, salespeople are infamous for assurances of a smooth and relatively seamless implementation and training when asked during the sales process. But unless you hold your software vendor accountable for their role, you can only blame yourself when it doesn’t go as planned. Holding your vendor accountable and making them live up to their commitments can pay off big time when it comes to a successful implementation and training.

    The most successful implementations I have been part of were ones where I took as much control and oversight of the project as the vendor using the following processes and steps:

    1) Worked with the vendor during project planning for the implementation to make sure that are needs and timelines were being met.

    2) Held regularly scheduled status meetings with the vendor to make sure that things were on track.

    3) Audit vendor service hours and billing for accuracy. To reinforce this point, I once saved a large group over $200,000 by catching errors in the vendor’s Implementation and training charges.

    4) Report vendor issues on a timely basis instead of letting them linger and grow unmanageable. Also, when there were issues I demanded a plan and timeframe for resolution.

    5) Escalate issues to vendor higher-level management if necessary.

    Finally, something that is not talked about much, but is extremely important: Let your vendor know that if they have any issues with you or your staff not doing what is expected during the implementation, they need to make you aware of this. As you can imagine, vendors are very hesitant to call out their clients, but it is critical that they feel comfortable making you aware of issues coming from the practice side. So, let them know honesty in this area is never a problem.

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    Implementation and training as a partnership

    The bottom line is that implementation and training is not a one-way street and the better the partnership is with your vendor during this stressful time the more successful the outcome will be. Issues can come from both the group and the vendor, but a timely recognition of these issues, along with the willingness to work together to resolve them will go a long way in ensuring that your implementation and training goes smoothly and meets your expectations.

    Mike Uretz
    Mike Uretz is a nationally-recognized Dental software and Electronic Health Records (EHR) expert. Mike has helped hundreds of individual ...


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