I’ll admit to being a huge fan of contests. What can I say? I love to win free stuff. I think everyone does. Plus, I love pretty much any competition. However, today when I read about the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EMR Technology transformation contest, something didn’t feel quite right. I’m sure it’s just an extension of the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EHR partnership, but let’s take a look at some of the details.
Sure, it’s great that they’re giving away $50,000 in EMR software and technology. They’re also partnered with Lenovo, Intel, EMC, Brother, Canon and Nuance. I like all of those companies for the most part and so the technology will be great. I’m just not sure winning a contest is the right way to decide to use that EMR software.
You can read more about the details at the contest website, but basically it will be in 2 rounds of judging. Here’s a description of the first round of judging:
Round 1 Judging: A panel of qualified judges comprised of representatives of each of the Sponsoring Vendors (Brother, Canon, Cerner, EMC, Intel, Lenovo and Nuance) will review and evaluate each eligible entry on the basis of the following criteria: (a) demonstrated need of Company for an electronic medical record application and an overall technology makeover(40 percent); (b) creativity of submission (20 percent); and (c) perceived ability of CDW Healthcare in conjunction with the sponsoring vendors, to improve productivity of entrant’s Company through installation of a medical record-keeping system and upgraded technology(40 percent).
The second round the vendor sponsors will do site visits to further evaluate your clinic. Not sure how this is going to work. Are they planning to select the clinic with the least amount of tech that will likely have a hard time implementing an EMR and going through all the changes? Or will they select the company who uses technology, but hasn’t yet implemented an EMR? The second clinic might be better prepared for an EMR implementation. Seems like all a marketing ploy without much thought for who they really want to award the prize to that will have the best impact.
I also think it’s interesting that they plan on parading the 3 finalists around at the HIMSS conference. Ok, maybe it’s not quite parading, but that’s kind of what it feels like. I looked through a lot of the official rules and didn’t see anything that forces you to implement the actual EMR. Seems like the form is simple enough to fill out that it might be worth getting all the technology for free. Plus, the free trip to the HIMSS 2010 annual conference might just be worth the entry. Then, you can have a chance to compare a whole bunch of EMR software. Not sure what Cerner will think about that, but maybe that’s the reward for not winning.