Health IT tip of the day: How to avoid the IT 'impulse buy'

One of the impediments to getting the most value from health IT is the sheer volume of software vendors and often inflated claims regarding their ability to drive outcomes.

Tariq Abu-Jaber, vice president of client solutions for Burgess in Alexandria, Va.: Finding what you need starts with developing a detailed plan, including an explicit set of "use cases" that describe what you need, why you need it and precisely how it will be used — by whom, to do what and to achieve what specific results. Apply the same level of rigor as if you were writing specifications for your internal development shop. It's like impulse buying; without those requirements, it's far too easy to be influenced by features and functionality that may not be directly aligned with the business objectives that sent you out shopping in the first place.

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