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An inside look at an IT contract.

Client: Intercoastal Medical Group, Sarasota, FL.
Services: Electronic medical record/practice management system.
Winning Vendor: Sage (formerly Emdeon), signed March 31, 2007, after three-year search.
Driver: The 65-physician, multispecialty group wanted a hybrid business and clinical information system running on a common database, says Geoffrey Simon, chief administrative officer.
Number Vendors Considered: RFPs to nearly 25 vendors, with 15 respondents.
Finalists: Pulse, NextGen, GE Healthcare and Athena.
Evaluation Tools: Two rounds of on-site demos and site visits.
School's In: Intercoastal bargained for 18-month vendor-supported training period, rather than standard 12, because of "the size and complexity of the project," Simon says.
Advice: Nurse acceptance of software is as important as physicians, Simon says. "The person who interacts the most with the chart is the nurse."

-Gary Baldwin

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