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ECG Management Buyer’s Guide 1: Support, Training, & Upgrades

Posted by Allison Fawber on April 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM

As your existing ECG management system nears its end of life (e.g., running on Windows Server 2003) or as your hospital evaluates ECG management for the first time (e.g., paper-based ECG storage exists now), there are critical topics to consider. Epiphany Healthcare’s principals have been working with cardiology software for most of our professional lives. As people with years of experience, we often find hidden costs in competitive quotations. These hidden costs break out into key topics. Ignoring these topics could lead to pitfalls in your selection process. Enclosed are seven pitfalls you want to avoid.

  1. Warranty: In order to lower a quotation’s total, competitive manufacturers often quote the first year of support as “Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.” Epiphany believes ECG management is a mission-critical application. As a mission-critical application, support during normal business hours is inadequate and poses a potential risk to patients.
    Epiphany only offers “platinum style” 24/7/365 support for this mission-critical application. 
    download Support Documents 
  1. Post-warranty contracts—hours: Following in this same pattern, post-warranty contracts are often quoted with normal-business hours’ support to minimize your perceived lifecycle costs.
    Epiphany provides a tool to help you analyze project lifecycle costs.
    download Lifecycle Analysis Tool
  1. Post-warranty contracts—pricing: Pricing for post-warranty contracts are generally based on the list price and not the discounted purchase price. Customers who receive a 40% discount on a list-price project of $150,000 are often shocked to find that 24/7/365, “platinum style” post-warranty support agreements are over $30,000 annually for a system that only cost $90,000.
    The annual support from Epiphany for a typical $90,000 system is about $10,000.

  2. Support-quote prices are not firm: We find that support-quote prices are sometimes deliberately quoted lower than the actual, final support costs with a disclaimer noting that, “This quotation is an estimate and the final price may be different.”
    Support quotes from Epiphany are firm.
  1. Inadequate training days: In order to keep the price down, we hear that projects are quoted with little or no in-service training anticipating that during implementation, the competitive vendor’s Project Management team will decide how much training is required. This practice adds unanticipated costs to the discounted project.
    Epiphany includes the necessary days for in-service training in our proposals.

  2. Travel, room, and meals invoiced separately: Another hidden cost occurs when on-site in-service training is quoted without including travel, room, and meal expenses. This, again, increases the actual project costs.
    Training costs from Epiphany always include travel, room, and meals.

  3. Version upgrades approximate the expense of the original system:  Lifecycle costs are underestimated when your expectations are that version upgrades are included in the post-warranty support agreement and, instead, the vendor’s intention is to charge for the next major version.
    All upgrades are included in Epiphany’s support agreement. Beyond third-party applications (i.e., Windows Server 2008/2012) and professional services for our labor, you only buy our software modules once.

It is reasonable to expect that proposed solutions show all anticipated costs in a transparent manner and that mission-critical applications be supported 24/7/365. Epiphany’s “Category Leader” recognition by KLAS confirms our straightforward commitment to your project.

Topics: Discounted Healthcare IT Projects, healthcare IT, ECG management, ECG management system, Buyers Guide

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