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An inside look at an IT contract.

Client: Health Management Associates, Naples, FL.

Services: Hybrid electronic medical record and practice management system.

Winning Vendor: NextGen, providing software to 600 employed HMA physicians across clinics in 15 states. Selected March 2007 after three-month search.

Driver: Replace aging legacy practice management system and deploy new clinical documentation software.

Number of Vendors Considered: Five, according to Tony Barber, senior vice president of physician services. To qualify, needed endorsement by Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.

Evaluation Tools: In-person demos and site visits. Evaluated with 40-item scorecard used by 20-member review panel of physicians, nurses, IT staff and practice managers flown into Naples for demos.

Why NextGen Won: Had widest array of clinical documentation templates for specialists; software required fewer keystrokes to navigate.

Deployment: Conversion to practice management system complete by June, with EMR conversion to begin then.

—Gary Baldwin

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