According to an article published by Harvard Business School, there are a few telltale signs that a business is withholding important information from you when trying to negotiate a sale. Among them are using a minimal number of words or using shorter sentences. Other tip-offs would be swearing and speaking in third-person. Any of these behaviors can indicate the sales associate is exaggerating the truth or outright lying.
Of course, when looking for an EHR (electronic health record) for your chiropractic practice, you’ll want to avoid such unscrupulous companies and choose the best—a.k.a. Most reputable—vendor possible. And while many honest vendors exist, there are still some things that a few don’t want you to know, primarily so you’ll choose them over their competitors.
Knowing what companies are maybe hiding is critical to finding the right EHR system for you. With that in mind, here are the top 10 things EHR companies likely won’t tell you so that you can make a more informed buying decision.
1. “Our program runs slow.”
When you’re demoing an EHR on the vendor’s 100 GB network with only a few patient records, it’s no doubt going to look blazing fast. But more importantly, you need to know is how fast the system will operate in your office using your internet connection and your patient workload. This comparison is the benchmark to use.
The last thing you want is a slow system solely because you didn’t think to ask how that system will perform in your given situation. So if you’re still unsure about the EHR’s performance, find a current user with a similar practice environment as yours and ask them what they experience when using the system.
2. “We haven’t tested all of our functions.”
Sometimes products are recalled because the manufacturers are too quick to sell their goods without the proper testing. Think of the Samsung Galaxy debacle where the company recalled millions of S8 due to exploding batteries. While the issue was fixed, the fact it happened puts a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth.
To prevent being an unknowing Guinee pig, ask how long the program or function has been on the market. If it’s been available for a while, you could probably assume the company and their early adopters have worked out most of the kinks.
3. “Our client support is hard to manage.”
If you have problems with your EHR, you want to know that customer support is just a quick phone call or email away. However, some providers have grown too big too fast, leaving customer hanging and limited resources to fix their problems.
For this reason, it’s helpful to ask how long it takes to get a response from their customer service department. Googling reviews about the company also gives you an idea of customer service quality. Notice if there is a pattern of poor reviews related to customer service. It’s a good chance you will experience the same.
4. “Our program is difficult to learn.”
It’s not uncommon to see marketing schemes in which companies call their programs “simple” and “easy” to use. However, if the training program lasts months, this could be a huge red flag. While every EHR has a substantial learning curve, the average chiropractor should expect to feel comfortable using the program within 4-6 weeks.
Again, this is where talking to other users can give you a realistic idea of just how complex the EHR system is. Don’t forget to research online reviews. See if clients have indicated a lengthy training experience. A program that is hard to learn usually means it’s hard to use.
5. “We always knock our competitors.”
One way to tell whether a business is professional is to listen to how they speak about their competitors. While you don’t expect them to be singing their praises, companies that display a level of respect toward their competition are often more desirable to do business.
Besides, if they’re more willing to bad mouth others, who’s to say they won’t do the same to you when you need support. Disrespect in one area of business often extends to other areas of business, so pay attention to how they speak and act.
Online review sites can be a great way to tell if a product or business is worth purchasing. What some people don’t realize is that not every review is an honest review. In fact, some businesses pay people to write reviews, whether or not they’ve used their goods or services.
Knowing this upfront can help you look at EHR reviews more critically in an attempt to determine if this is the case. NBC News shares that some things to watch for are reviews that are overly enthusiastic, lack details, sound suspiciously like a product manual or submitted by someone who appears to only do reviews for that company as these are all signs of an untrustworthy review.
One more thing to look for is a string of overly positive reviews soon after a negative one. This tactic is a common way to hide negative reviews and boost review ratings. No company is immune to negative reviews but generally speaking; most reviews should follow a constant publishing pattern over time.
7. “We’ll try to convince you we’re the best.”
Every company wants to think that they’re the best in the business. But if they tell you that they are, they’re more likely wrong. Not that they’re a bad company per se, but no business is a 100 percent match for all consumers, especially for EHR vendors.
Ideally what you want is the EHR vendor who is humble about their successes: one focused on meeting your expectations. Also, one that is willing, if necessary, to refer out to their competitors.
8. “Our sales are 100% commission based.”
A lot of people don’t like to walk onto a car lot because they know that someone is chomping at the bit to make a sale. While this is understandable because these salespersons work primarily (if not entirely) on commission, it’s still difficult to trust them because their priority is the sale and not you.
Same goes for EHR companies. If they don’t make a sale, they don’t get paid. To be fair, this doesn’t automatically make the company or the person you’re speaking with dishonest or willing to violate ethical standards. But, at a minimum, it should at least make you more aware that their intentions may be self-serving.
To ascertain which scenario applies, pay attention to whether they’re listening to your EHR-based needs and addressing your concerns. If they’re blowing your objections off or failing to admit their limitations, then you may be speaking with someone who is looking out for their bottom line as opposed to finding the best system for you.
9. “We make promises we can’t keep.”
If someone is making their EHR sound too good to be true, like the saying goes, it likely is. So, ask lots of questions and make your decision based on facts, not on whether you connect emotionally with the salesperson or like him or her on a personal level. And keep in mind, no HER company can satisfy the customer’s needs and wants 100% of the time.
Additionally, if the company makes you a promise, get it in writing. That way you’ll have something to fall back on in the event they fail to follow through.
10. “Most of our sales go into marketing.”
Have you ever noticed that some well-known brands rarely if ever need to advertise? They stay strong because word of mouth is all they need to succeed. Their reputation is a win-win for both the company and customer because saving on high advertising cost helps lower product cost while maintaining product quality and revenue.
This isn’t to say all companies who decide to do some marketing are lower in quality. But definitely, wonder what may be the motivation is behind a company’s excessive advertising compared to the competition. Ask yourself, are they trying to overcome product deficiencies or bad press. Reading reviews and checking with current and past customers helps you see past the veil of company advertisements.