The following Questions & Answers apply to the RI Regional Extension Center’s (RI REC’s) 2012 Application to Participate Form:
Q. To our understanding, an organization can apply as either an EHR vendor or a Technical Service Consultant. Can you clarify what constitutes a "Technical Service Consultant"?
A. RI REC defines a Technical Service Consultant as a vendor that applies to the REC’s Vendor Marketplace and agrees to the terms and conditions outlined in the REC Vendor Marketplace Uniform Agreement (contract) for one or more of the following services:
- Readiness Assessment
- Implementation Service
- IT Infrastructure Support
- Practice Redesign & Optimization Service
- Quality Improvement & Measures Service
- Education and Training
- Meaningful Use Gap Analysis
- Privacy and Security Service
Q. For Questions #20 and #21 in Section I, can you clarify what is meant by “available”? Does this mean employees who would be dedicated to this project?
A. For Questions #20 and #21 in Section I:
#20. % of Employees available for Rhode Island REC services:
“Available” refers to the percentage of employees within your organization who will be working both directly and indirectly with REC provider members who request your services.
#21. % of Employees available for non‐RI REC services (e.g., REC services in other states, non‐REC services):
“Available” refers to the percentage of employees within your organization who will not be working with REC provider members.
Q. For Question #40 in Section I, can you clarify what is meant by “implementation”? Does this refer to the time required to deploy a new solution/product for a customer?
A. For Question #40 in Section I:
#40. Expected and Average implementation timeline by practice size (months)
Yes, “implementation” refers to the time required to deploy a new product or service with REC provider member(s). Please provide your response based on the implementation of the service(s) for which you are applying. Estimates are acceptable.
Q. For Question #41 in Section I, is there flexibility in the title “Project Manager”? In our organization, the Product Manager would handle the responsibilities in question.
A. For Question #41 in Section I:
#41. Describe briefly the Project Manager's role with the practice:
Yes, flexibility in the title “Project Manager” is acceptable.
Q. For Question #51 in Section I, if we are applying as a "Technical Service Consultant," does this question still apply?
A. For Question #51 in Section I:
#51. Does your organization have a standard process for EHR implementation?
This question does apply to all vendor applicants.Technical Service Consultants may or may not have the capacity/ability to perform EHR implementation-related services.
Q. For Question #53 in Section I, are there pre-defined categories for areas of content training?
A. For Question #53 in Section I:
#53. List the specific training content areas you would be willing to provide the RI REC.
No, there are no pre-defined categories for areas of training. Please provide your response based on those services for which you are applying. The goal of RI REC training is to educate both RIQI staff and REC provider members about the services you intend to provide.
Q. Is Section II (EHR Software) mandatory for applicants that are "Technical Service Consultants"?
A. All vendor applicants must complete the Basic Business Information section of the RI REC Application to Participate. Each subsequent section is equivalent to a RI REC service offering. Technical Service Consultants should complete any applicable section, except “EHR Software." Vendors applying as Technical Service Consultants should complete only those sections that correspond to a service for which they would like to apply.
Q. Section III is about Implementation Services. Are these considered an expected function that a "Technical Service Consultant" performs? Can this section be optional for an organization that applies as a "Technical Service Consultant"?
A. Technical Service Consultant applicants are only required to complete the section(s) that correspond to a service for which they would like to apply. For example, the Implementation Services section should only be completed by vendor applicants that are applying as a Technical Service Consultant that provides Implementation Services.
Q. In Section IV (Readiness Assessment), must the responses only apply to EHRs? Can we provide responses that are related to general "Readiness Assessment"?
A. Responses provided within Section IV (Readiness Assessment) that are “related to general Readiness Assessment” will not be considered adequate. RI REC Readiness Assessments are directly tied to EHR adoption and implementation activities.
Q. For Sections V through IX, must each section be completed? Can a complete application include several blank sections if those sections do not apply to our organization?
A. Yes, a complete application may include several blank sections. Vendor applicants should only complete the sections that correspond to a service for which they would like to apply. In the event a vendor applicant does not apply for all available services, an application can be considered complete it it contains blank sections (those sections related to services for which the applicant is not applying).
The following Questions & Answers apply to the RI Regional Extension Center’s (RI REC’s) 2011 Application to Participate Form:
Q. How do I apply to become a part of the Vendor Marketplace?
A. RI REC maintains the Vendor Marketplace by posting Application to Participate Forms. EHR vendors and technical service consultants interested in participating in the Vendor Marketplace and partnering with us on this exciting project should complete the application and submit both electronic and paper copies.
Q. What is the application process?
A. RI REC evaluates vendor applications against various criteria and best practices specifications. Vendors who meet RI REC requirements are extended an invitation to join the RI REC Vendor Marketplace. Upon execution of a Uniform Vendor Agreement with RI REC, vendors become a participant in RI REC’s Vendor Marketplace.
Q. Which sections should I complete?
A. All vendors must complete the Basic Business Information section of this application.
In addition, each of the subsequent sections is equivalent to a RI REC vendor service offering. Therefore, vendors should complete each application section that corresponds to a service they choose to provide RI REC Provider Members.
All EHR software vendors should complete the EHR Software section; however EHR vendors who also wish to provide impartial, stand-alone consulting services for other vendors should complete the EHR Software section as well as any sections corresponding to those specific services.
Technical Service Consultants should complete any applicable sections except EHR Software. For more information about RI REC vendor service offering categories please see the product and service descriptions in Appendix A of the Application to Participate.
Q. Would you please describe in more detail how service vendors and providers meet one another and how the sales interaction takes place?
A. After the application process is complete and vendors are evaluated, vendors that met REC requirements are invited to participate in the Vendor Marketplace. After a uniform vendor agreement is executed between RIQI and individual vendors, vendors are deemed Marketplace Vendors.
RI REC Provider Members are introduced to vendors through the Vendor Marketplace. Providers that join the REC work with their relationship managers to identify the products and services of which they are in need. Using the Vendor Profiles as a guide, the provider and their relationship manager identify Vendor Marketplace participants who provide the needed products or services and the provider chooses the vendors from which they are interested in hearing.
After providers make their selections, their relationship manager issues an RFQ on their behalf to the vendors form which the provider is interested in hearing. The relationship manager pre-populates the RFQ with the provider’s information. Along with general information, it includes details from the provider’s self-assessment form to help the vendor better understand the provider’s current state and needs. Vendors in turn respond to the provider’s RFQ within two weeks. Providers make their product and service selection decision based on the vendor’s responses to the RFQ.
Vendors also are asked to participate in REC sponsored vendor events where they have the opportunity to meet and interact with providers.
Q. The terminology “…vendors will be selected based on a… commitment and history of providing products and services to local RI providers” implies that, if a vendor does not have such a history, it is at a disadvantage. Is this true?
A. Having a history of servicing RI providers is factored into the vendor evaluations; however RI experience is not a requirement.
Q. What are the payment terms for services vendors?
A. REC requires Vendor Marketplace participants to offer discounted pricing to its RI REC provider members. Other payment terms and stipulations are in the Uniform Vendor Agreement which RI REC requires vendors to sign in order to participate in the Vendor Marketplace.
Q. Is meaningful use strategy solely a vendor's task, to evaluate a system or product’s capability to support the meaningful use measures?
A. No. Meaningful use strategy is to define that the services and/or products offered by the vendor adhere to meaningful use standards and help the provider to achieve meaningful use.
Q. Could you please clarify item #39 in the General Business Information section? It states, “39. Is your organization willing to share PM tools/dashboards with the RI REC?”
A. Question 39 in the General Business Information section asks, if your organization has Project Management tools or dashboards that you utilize to assist your providers with, are you willing to share these tools with the Rhode Island Regional Extension Center. The REC would like to see how you measure or track a practice during their EHR implementation or other service that you are providing.
Q. I am using Google Chrome and I am having an issue entering values in some fields on the Application to Participate. What should I do?
A. RI REC has tried to make the Application to Participate compatible with various browsers. However, there are still some compatibility issues with some browsers. For best results please use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.
Q. Are vendors of infrastructure hardware or software, which are related elements of EHR software deployment, eligible to respond and participate? If so, in which section should a vendor provide its response?
A. Yes, vendors who supply infrastructure or software assistance should fill out the Basic Business Information and IT Infrastructure Support Services sections.
Q. If the vendor’s products or services are sold through a network of distributors, what is the expectation regarding a commitment to offering discounted pricing?
A. RI REC asks each vendor if they are willing to provide a discount to provider members. Each vendor must be able to commit to giving discounted prices for their products and services off their regular price.