Ethical Healthcare’s electronic patient record (EPR) Domain Lead, Jennifer Dunne, has used her extensive experience of EPR procurement and implementation to write a 6-step guide to support those on their EPR journey.   

In step 2, Jennifer discusses the significance of a well-prepared EPR procurement plan.  


Step 2: Procurement 

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, EPRs play a pivotal role in enhancing patient care and streamlining clinical processes.  

The procurement of an EPR solution is a critical decision that healthcare organisations must undertake carefully. Taking the time to prepare a procurement plan that ensures the right outcome is paramount to achieving success.  

Furthermore, the importance of user-centred design cannot be overstated when preparing the requirements for an EPR solution and evaluating bidder responses.  

Preparing a procurement plan 

Procuring an EPR solution is a complex and resource-intensive endeavour. Rushing through the procurement process or overlooking essential steps can lead to adverse outcomes, including financial losses and inefficiencies in patient care.  

A well-prepared procurement plan is essential to mitigate risks and ensure that the chosen EPR solution aligns with the specific needs and goals of the healthcare organisation.  

A thorough procurement plan involves defining clear objectives and requirements for the EPR solution. This includes: 

  • identifying the necessary features 
  • interoperability standards 
  • security protocols 
  • scalability 
  • the ability to adapt to future digital advancements 

Taking the time to engage key stakeholders, including clinical and operational staff, administrators, and IT personnel, ensures that the requirements are comprehensive and represent the diverse needs of the healthcare organisation.  

User-centred design in preparing EPR requirements  

User-centred design is a human-focused approach that places end-users at the core of the design and development process. In the context of EPR procurement, this means actively involving healthcare professionals and administrative staff in the preparation of requirements for the new solution.  

By engaging end-users, the procurement team can gain valuable insights into the daily challenges faced by clinical and operational staff and identify specific functionalities and interfaces that can improve workflow efficiency.  

User-centred design allows for the creation of an EPR solution that is intuitive, user-friendly, and tailored to the unique requirements of the healthcare organisation.  

Incorporating user-centred design principles in the preparation of EPR requirements results in a solution that fosters acceptance and adoption among medical professionals. This, in turn, enhances the overall effectiveness of the EPR solution and positively impacts patient care.  

User-centred design in evaluation  

Once the EPR solution vendor responses are received, the evaluation process commences. This phase is often overlooked or inadequately performed, leading to the selection of a suboptimal vendor.  

User-centred design is equally vital during the evaluation process, as it enables the healthcare organisation to identify the vendor that best aligns with their unique needs and values.  

During the evaluation of bidder responses, the healthcare organisation should consider factors beyond mere technical capabilities. User-centred evaluation involves assessing how well each vendor’s EPR solution meets the requirements gathered from end-users during the preparation phase. This evaluation extends to factors such as ease of use, training and support, data security, and the potential for seamless integration with existing solutions.  

By employing user-centred design in the evaluation process, healthcare organisations can make informed decisions that prioritise the needs and preferences of their staff and patients. A vendor that embraces user-centred design principles in their EPR solution design is more likely to deliver a product that resonates with the end-users and maximises the benefits of the new solution.  


The procurement of an EPR solution is a crucial decision that impacts the efficiency and quality of patient care within a healthcare organisation. Taking the time to prepare a well-structured procurement plan ensures that the chosen EPR solution aligns with the unique needs and objectives of the healthcare organisation.  

User-centred design plays a pivotal role in both the preparation of EPR requirements and the evaluation of vendor responses. By actively involving end-users, healthcare professionals, and administrative staff in the process, organisations can create an EPR solution that is intuitive, user-friendly, and optimally meets their needs.  

Incorporating user-centred design principles into the procurement process fosters greater acceptance and adoption of the new solution among medical staff, leading to improved patient care and operational efficiency. As the healthcare industry continues to advance, embracing user-centred design will remain a key driver of successful EPR procurement and, ultimately, better patient outcomes.  


Read Step 1: Strategy here. 

Follow our blog, LinkedIn and Twitter pages for the next steps in Jennifer’s 6-step guide to electronic patient record (EPR) procurement and implementation.  


Get in touch  

If you’d like to discuss your EPR strategy with Jennifer, contact her on