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How to Choose a Quality Reporting System Vendor

It’s the quality reporting time of year. Hospitals around the country are saying the same thing as you…“We need help!” But navigating the options for vendor selection isn’t easy. Here is a list of considerations to help you choose a quality reporting system vendor that best fits your hospital's needs.

Consider which quality reporting program(s) you need to submit to

Nowadays, quality reporting is leaking into every facet of a hospital’s day-to-day routine. In the past, you have submitted your chart abstracted measures to the CMS Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program, attested for Meaningful Use and called it a day. Not anymore. Hospitals must now be mindful of the changing requirements for the various reporting programs which affect a hospital’s finances and public ranking. Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Providers are submitting to the IQR program, PQRS, The Joint Commission and Meaningful Use—and program requirements change from year-to-year. For example, the IQR program is incorporating Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQM) data as an additional reporting requirement.

The first step you should take when selecting a quality vendor is to write a list of all of the programs you must or would like to submit data to. Then, evaluate your hospital’s needs for each program. Take a look at the example list below.

We must submit to:

Quality Program  Our Capabilities or Shortcomings Our Needs
CMS IQR program IT is spending too much time pulling SQL reports that aren’t passing in the CMS test environment. We need a vendor that will capture our eCQM data and accurately submit it to CMS on our behalf.


Continue making this list until you feel you have a good grasp of your hospital’s abilities and shortcomings. Once you're satisfied, weigh your quality reporting system vendor options against your list. Make sure your vendor offers all of the services that you require; otherwise, you’ll have to pull in multiple vendors, which can make for a logistical headache.

Evaluate the quality reporting history of the vendor

CMS has done a great job of cataloging quality requirements, submission guidelines and best practices on its website. So ask the vendor if they have any quality reporting experience. Are they recognized as an industry leader? Is it a certified technology?

Don’t let yourself get hoodwinked by flashy graphics or fast-talking sales people. Find out if the quality reporting vendor has actually successfully submitted to the program that you need. Keep in mind that only a handful of hospitals successfully submitted eCQMs to the CMS in 2015, and even fewer hospitals submitted eCQMs to The Joint Commission under any of their reporting options. You’ll also want to confirm that they are ONC certified for all hospital and provider eCQMs.

So get to the bottom of it. Ask them for a straight answer about their quality reporting history and certification.

Demo their product to determine if it will help you or add more to your workload

A product demonstration is one of the best ways to evaluate a product. We know, talking to people?! On the phone?! Ugh. Yes, it’s true. You will have to talk to the vendor in question. But there is no better way to get a feel for how the product works. During a demonstration, you’ll see sample data in action. You can understand how and when the data is pulled, where it shows up and the fun features that make the product great.

Demonstrations are also a good time for you to ask questions. Consult the various people that will be involved in the daily use of the solution and ask them for questions in advance. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be able to test drive the software.

Make sure the vendor offers submission services

The support that a vendor provides before, during and after the implementation speaks volumes. Ask them pointed questions about how long it takes for their support team to answer questions and the average ticket resolution time.

You’ll also want to be clear on who is responsible for submission to the various programs. Do they provide you the data and leave you alone to submit? What happens if your data is rejected by CMS? Submission can be complicated and frustrating. Make sure that your vendor will act as your consultant. You want someone who will review and evaluate your data, make suggestions for improvement, submit your data to the quality program(s) and troubleshoot when problems arise.

Attain references for the vendor

Surprisingly, many hospitals overlook this crucial step. You wouldn’t hire someone without checking their references would you? In the same way, references can and will tell you an awful lot about the vendor. And yes, the vendor will likely give you a reference who is a loyal client, but this reference will still give you critical insight into the vendor’s capabilities. Ask the reference about the best and worst parts of the vendor. What did they struggle with and how did the vendor help them with their needs? Talking to a reference allows you to ask difficult questions without feeling awkward about it.

Ask more questions!

Lastly, ask questions. The more curious you can be the better. Only by asking many questions will you discover the true identity of the vendor. The more you talk with the vendor, the more you’ll get to know them and feel comfortable when it’s time to choose a quality reporting vendor.

How Medisolv stacks up as a quality reporting vendor

Ok, so since we are a quality vendor, you probably saw this next plug coming—don’t worry, we'll make it short and sweet.

Consider which quality reporting program(s) you need to submit to

Medisolv provides a complete quality reporting system under a single platform. Our ENCOR-e module handles hospital quality measures for Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Professionalswhile the ENCOR-a module offers chart abstraction capabilities. For claims based reporting, we provide Readmission, Hospital Acquired Conditions and the AHRQ Patient Safety and Quality Indicators. We handle the major quality reporting programs with ease.

Evaluate the quality reporting history of the vendor

Medisolv has a long history of being a quality reporting pioneer for various programs. We have successfully submitted client data to CMS and The Joint Commission. Here is a short list of accomplishments.

  • The first vendor to successfully submit eCQMs to The Joint Commission
  • The first vendor to submit under Option 2 of The Joint Commission for 2015 reporting
  • 2014 TJC ePilot Participation
  • 2015 CMS CDAC eCQM Validation Participation
  • ONC certified (2014 edition) for all 29 hospital, and 64 provider eCQMs used for Stage 2 Meaningful Use quality reporting.

Demo their product to determine if it will help you or add more to your workload

Well don’t you know, we have a place to request a demo right here! Boy that was convenient.

Make sure the vendor offers submission services

From setting up clinical workflows to submissions, our Client Services team is with you every step of the way.

Our team works with you to identify data elements to capture and suggest ways to improve your compliance rates. Unlike with other vendors, you don't need a software consultant on staff to work with our products, Medisolv employees are your dedicated consultants. We care about you and your hospital. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet? We are.

Attain references for the vendor

You bet. We would love to provide you references. Ask them the good, the bad and the ugly. And don’t forget to ask them about some of our pretty features too. Send us a note to get a list of our references.

Ask more questions!

Ask away!

Erin Heilman

Erin Heilman is the Vice President of Marketing for Medisolv, Inc.

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