I don't care who you are. If you do blood work or you bill claims, you know when someone knows how to use MEDITECH's system over those who have no clue. The same thing applies to Report Writers. What's sad though is that most people think, oh, it's just reports so if someone isn't as qualified, what's the worst that can happen? Then a Census report is missing a patient or it's discovered that certain charges are not getting sent to your HL7 interface or accounts are missing from your billers worklists...I could keep going. The worst? You're already a month into a 6.0 go live and your finding that with all of your LIVE data, a ton of reports or interfaces are producing partial data. So that being said, here are a few questions to ask report writers to see if they really are as good as they say they are...
1. First and foremost, ask the question, is the person I'm talking to now actually going to be writing my reports?
It sounds ridiculous but frankly, often times the answer is no. Take a second to understand who exactly is writing your reports and at the very least request their experience. Report writing is an art form. If someone says they have a team with over 70 years of report writing experience, that actually doesn't mean much. If you were to take 4 people in your hospital that are underachievers that have worked with MEDITECH software for 10 years each, would you say they were valuable because they have over 40 years of MEDITECH experience cumulatively? As you know, there's more to it...
2. Ask a basic question: explain the parent child hierarchy within DPM's.
Any Report Writer who knows anything about Report Writing will be able to explain this relationship in their sleep. If they start fumbling through their answer or say, well I'm more used to looking at the Data Definition List, then that's a red flag. It's a simple relationship that is the basis for any report they'll ever write, so there's no reason why there should be issues explaining it.
3. Ask how they verify that their reports are in fact accurate.
Almost always, there's a way to verify that a given report is accurate through a standard MEDITECH report or a fail safe data dump. Give them a report that you need and ask how they'd verify that their totals are accurate. I can't tell you how often I've seen incomplete reports out there because this simple step was not taken at the time the report was created.
4. Most importantly, trust your instincts.
You know within the first minute of talking to someone that they know what they're talking about. If you think the resource is not going to be able to knock out reports as quickly as you need them or even worse, struggle with them, then trust your initial instinct and keep looking.
While there are a large group of qualified report writers out there, it only takes one to throw your system off (said from experience). Often times, I've found that it's been the one aspect of a go-live that is most overlooked when it comes to day to day reports, meaningful use reporting or federal/state requirements. Take the time to determine the right resource for you and ask the right questions--it could save you pains that could have been avoided otherwise.
Looking for a Report Writer? Check out the Report Writer Wing