Switching Costs
Below are a set of concerns you should consider if you are considering switching to a new system but are already actively using another:
Are you sure the new system actually addresses the problems that have been observed?
Note specific issues down and request a line-by-line response from your proposed vendor. Ensure that there is numeric proof behind specific claims to system superiority, and consider all the factors above.
Are you prepared to migrate data between systems?
Data migration can lead to data loss, corruption, or inconsistencies. You should device a plan in conjunction with a technical partner for how to move data between systems.
Have you tested with users?
Where time allows, reach out and have users within your jurisdiction try using the new system, and assess their response by means of a user-centered interview. Are they much more satisfied with the usability of the new system?
Are you looking at the right things?
Be careful in weighing interface concerns - a given system may look nice and perform well, but hide beneath the surface more complex issues. Assess the system holistically, with a focus on the kind of issues that may lead to difficulties and may be less visible. Do you see meaningful improvements with regard to the following?:
    Interoperability - e.g. Can it integrate easily with EHR and IIS systems?
    Scalability - e.g. Can it handle large amounts of traffic, and spikes in that traffic?
    Upgradeability - e.g. Can updates be issued frequently and seamlessly?
Do you have a plan for when other jurisdictions opt out?
We have seen a common issue where a given larger jurisdiction suggests a system, but constituent jurisdictions are not interested in adopting it. You should plan for this, by adopting a few of these practices:
    Assume certain constituent jurisdictions will not want to migrate, and talk to your vendor about interoperability with other scheduling systems at these other levels
    Discuss the ability to add features to maintain functional parity with these other systems
    Where possible, align with these other systems on a single system of record to capture appointments.
Is your timing realistic?
This kind of move takes time. Consult with your proposed vendor on typical turnaround times early in your discussion, and create a phased plan for the adoption of your system and the transition off of the previous system in all related jurisdictions.
How much does this system truly cost?
It can be difficult to find information on the exact cost of a new system, and cost structures can be complicated.
In addition to the cost cited by the vendor, there can be additional hidden costs you should be aware of:
    Integration partner cost - often larger vendors partner with so-called "integration partners" to assist in configuring the tool they provide. These carry additional costs
    Per-feature costs - particularly for larger solutions, individual features, such as pre-registration or text communications, may carry an additional cost.
The task of moving to a new vaccination scheduling system can be daunting, and should not be undertaken lightly. But if you consider the above when making this decision, you can hopefully decide whether to make this switch more confidently, and understand better the risks and rewards involved in doing so.
Last modified 7mo ago
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