Lecture:  Participatory Vendor Selection


Assigned Reading

  1. Participatory evaluation of vendors of electronic health records.  Read►  
  2. Development of the Leapfrog methodology for evaluating hospital implemented inpatient computerized physician order entry systems.  Journal Link 
  3. Selecting information technology for physicians' practices  PubMed Central
  4. Tim Thompson's lecture on participatory implementation of EHR Slides► Bio►
  5. Untangling contract issues Read►
  6. Jarrod's  Tutorial 1► Tutorial 2►

Narrated slides and videos require Flash.  Download►

What do you know?

Advanced learners like you, often need different ways of understanding a topic. Reading is just one way of understanding. Another way is through writing about what you have read.  The following questions get you to think more about the concepts taught in this session.

  1. List the steps in vendor selection and for each step provide an example
  2. What is the procedure for getting a decision maker to articulate what criteria they use for selecting vendors?  This question is asking you to describe the process of soliciting attribute levels and not any specific list of attributes or attribute levels.
  3. What is the method for assessing values that should be assigned to single attributes?
  4. What is the method for aggregating  values assigned to different attributes of a vendor into one overall score?
  5.  A decision maker thinks that ease of use is 3 times more important than compatibility with existing systems and cost is 5 times more important than ease of use.  What are the relative weights for the three attributes: (a) compatibility with existing practice, (b) ease of use and (c) cost.  Start the analysis by assigning the weight of 10 to compatibility with existing systems. 
  6. A committee of the hospital has rated four system on three criteria on a scale from 0 to 100.  Re-scale these values so that they range from 0 to 100.
    Compatibility with existing systems Ease of use Cost
    System A 20 20 50
    System B 50 50 70
    System C 60 10 90
    System D 80 0 60
    Table 2:  Ratings of 4 Vendors on 3 Criteria
  7. Using the data from step 5 and 6, recommend the purchase of one of the four systems by calculating the overall score for each of the systems. 
  8. A purchasing committee has rated 4 systems on two criteria as follows:
      Ease of Use Cost of Licenses
    System A 20 50
    System B 50 70
    System C 10 100
    System D 0 60

    They also have agreed that ease of use is twice more important than cost of licenses.  Given this data what system do you recommend they purchase?

To answer this question first calculate the standard weights using the following information:

Assigned Score Standard Weight 
Cost of licenses 10 0.33 =10/30
Ease of Use 20 0.67 =20/30
TOTAL 30 1.00

Next standardize both attribute ratings by using the formula: standard X = 100*(X-Min)/(Max-Min):

  Ease of Use Standard Rating
System A 20 40  =100*(20-0)/(50-0)
System B 50 100  =max is 50 assigned 100
System C 10 20  =100*(10-0)/(50-0)
System D 0 0  =min is 0 assigned 0


  Cost of Licenses Standard Rating
System A 50 0  =min is 50 & assigned 0
System B 70 40  =100*(70-50)/(100-50)
System C 100 100  =max is 100 & assigned 100
System D 60 20  =100*(60-50)/(100-50)

Finally calculate the sum of weighted ratings for each system:

Ease of Use Cost of licenses Overall Score
Weight 0.67 0.33
System A 40 0 26.8  =40*0.67 + 0*0.33
System B 100 40 80.2 Prefered system
System C 20 100 46.4  =20*0.67 + 100*0.33
System D 0 20 6.6  =0*0.67 + 20*0.33


Do One Assignment:  Select a Vendor

 Evaluate at least 2 vendors (students who do not have access to vendors can rely on other students or family members) on at least 3 criteria.  The procedures to follow are described below:

  1. Select two vendors of electronic health records.
  2. Interview at least two decision makers.  Conduct these interviews separately (could be done on the phone).  You could choose to interview classmates or friends if you do not have access to the right decision makers. 
    • Select at least 3 criteria for evaluating electronic health records based on your decision maker's input.   Example► Another►
    • Ask the participants to rate  the levels of each criterion. 
    • Ask the participants to rate the relative importance of each criterion
  3. Use published literature or experts' opinions to rate the performance of each vendor on each criterion.  
  4. Construct a model reflecting the preferences of both of your decision makers.
  5. Make a recommendation based on your scoring procedure.  Calculate the score for the systems and show what EHR will be recommended.
  6. Describe the process and the results in a word document.  Include the following topics:
    1. Title
    2. Description of consensus development process
    3. Individual models
      • Show the attributes and their levels
      • Show ratings of the levels
      • Show weights assigned.  Record the questions you asked and the answers you received as well as the standardized weights you calculated. 
    4. Consensus model
      • Describe the final set of attributes, attribute levels, ratings of attribute levels and weights for the attributes
    5. Recommended action
    6. Introspection 
      • Comment on value of participatory vendor selection
      • Comment on value of quantification
      • Comment on value of conducting interviews before the general meeting.

See example completed assignments. Jon Hall► Rashida Brown► Wendy's tutorial►


For additional information (not part of the required reading), please see the following links:

  1. Modeling preferences (1 hour long, in context of HIV/AIDS)   SWF ► 

  2. Presentation by Suniti Ponkshe  Bio  Slides

  3. Recent articles on vendor selection   PubMed►   Medline
  4. An EHR User-Satisfaction Survey: Advice from 408 Family Physicians  Read
  5. AC Group PMS and EMR Report    Read
  6. Kartick Patel translates the lecture into Chichewa (Malawi's national language) Listen►
  7. Examples of cost estimates from multiple vendors  More►
  8. Example of request for proposal  More►

This page is part of the course on Information Systems.   This page was edited by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D.  ęCopyright protected.