We’ve come across a lot of people who are in the process of putting together Requests for Proposals and Requests for Information.

Firstly, we are very much in favor of just giving something a try, that way you are making progress from day one.

If, however your situation requires such a process, we think that the questions you ask should focus on the things you really need rather than worrying about the field names and types involved.

Here’s a quick list of things I think should be asked:

  • Does the system allow secure access for:
      1. Individuals with Disabilities
      2. Families
      3. Direct Support Professionals
      4. Agency administrative staff and related service professionals
      5. State staff
      6. Consultants
      7. Analysts
    1. Is the system currently being used by:
      1. Individuals with Disabilities
      2. Families
      3. Direct Support Professionals
      4. Agency administrative staff and related service professionals
      5. State staff
      6. Consultants
      7. Analysts
    2. Is the system truly web-based, allowing access from  any location?
    3. Can the system provide notifications in real time?
      1. Via Text Message?
      2. Via E-Mail
    4. Is the system fully compliant with HIPAA requirements?
      1. Is all creation of and access to data tracked and time stamped?
      2. Are changes/deletions tracked and stored?
      3. Does the system allow for secure, HIPAA compliant email-type communication?
      4. Can all users be identified via unique login or optional biometric login such as fingerprint?
      5. Is all activity tracked, including IP address, user, and  action?
    5. Is the system available for immediate implementation?
    6. Data security:  Is data backed up immediately across multiple, separate locations?
    7. Responsiveness:  Can changes to the system be made and implemented quickly?
    8. Experience:  Does the company have experience implementing across:
      1. Provider Agencies(including multi-state agencies)
      2. States
      3. With families
    9. Can the system interact with other systems, e.g. accounting systems, performance outcome systems?
    10. Does the system Track:
      1. Demographics
      2. Incident reports and followup
      3. Progress notes by direct support professionals and other team members
      4. Health Information
      5. Individual Service Plans
      6. Progress towrds goals
      7. Behavioral plans and data
      8. Service Authorizations
      9. Attendance
      10. Billing Data
      11. Staff Training
      12. Medication Administration
      13. Personal Finances
    11. Are training materials available aimed specifically at different groups of staff?
    12. Are training materials available in multiple languages?
    13. Is on-site, in-person, hands-on training available?
    14. Are trainers experienced in the developmental disability community?
    15. Does the system work in multiple languages?
    16. Is live help available 24/7?
    17. Can data be shared securely and in compliance with HIPAA across agencies/providers who support the same person?
    18. Does the system encourage collaboration and best practices
      1. Within an agency
      2. Nationally

      Got suggestions or additions?

      Let me know.

      Justin