Health care provider organizations buying an information system go through a long process to select the right vendor, but oftentimes a single incident can make a difference in sealing the deal--or killing it.

For Kerry Noble, CEO at Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in Hayti, Mo., his confidence in a particular electronic health records vendor went way up when Ramsey Evans, CEO of Prognosis Health Information Systems, wrote in the contract that he'd refund the cost of the software if the hospital did not attest to EHR meaningful use within 120 days of go-live. Noble then went to a local bank and got financing to cover the costs of implementation through attestation-with Prognosis' guarantee as collateral. The first meaningful use incentive payment exceeded the cost of the EHR by about $500,000, Noble says.

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