There comes a time when every business or department looks outside of their own walls for a service partner. Typically, this is driven by a need to fill a gap that can’t be addressed with internal resources, whether they’re people or technology. If you’re about to embark on a search, you’ll soon find that no two software solutions are the same… and neither are the companies behind them. Experience, cultural compatibility, and longevity are just a few examples of how they differ.

Below, we’ve shared six traits to look for in a radiology software partner.*

1. Longevity and Specific Experience

How long a company has been in business can be an indicator of their long-term viability. Furthermore, their total “years in business” may not necessarily equate to their total “years of experience”. For example, a company that’s been in business for ten years may not have all of those years in radiology or healthcare; i.e., they may have spent the majority of their years in non-healthcare industries before branching out. And details matter – especially when it comes to understanding the importance of specifics related to user roles, workflows, reporting, nomenclature, and even aesthetics (e.g., a dark mode feature).

Ask yourself:

  • How long has this company been in business?
  • Can this company and their software meet my specific needs?

2. An Innovation Mindset

Companies with an innovative mindset employ people driven by a pioneering spirit and novel thinking. This translates into an innovative culture that is constantly evolving their software to meet current and future customer needs. They value progress and advancement without sacrificing usability. Contrast this with software solutions that have remained the same since launching, with updates released to maintain stability rather than progress; over time, this lack of innovation begins to show through capability limitations, falling short of meeting current business, operational, or workflow needs.

When looking into a potential partner, ask yourself:

  • How often is the company’s software solution updated? And when updated, is it done reactively or proactively?
  • Does this company foster a culture of innovation that shows in their software?

3. Cultural Compatibility

Finding a software solution that meets your needs is just part of the selection process. The company’s culture must also be compatible with, or at least supportive of, your company’s values. This includes understanding staff dynamics and organizational expectations (e.g., reporting structure, quality standards, timeliness, availability, etc.) There’s a good chance you’ll spend time with people from this company including support staff, executive leadership, or even team members that write the code. When the company’s values are positioned to support yours, you’re likely to spend less time explaining and more time doing.

Consider your organization’s own culture when looking for a radiology software partner. Ask yourself:

  • Are the company’s values compatible with how my organization operates so that objectives can be successfully achieved?
  • Does the company’s culture operate in such a way that it benefits my organization?

4. Training and Support Services

No two support programs are alike. They can range from having a 100% self-service model to providing completely personalized support with a dedicated account manager. In-between, there are models that provide a variety of training (e.g., onsite, virtual, videos, online documents, etc.), bug tracking with resolution status, and methods of contacting help staff (e.g., chat, phone, regional vs. 24×7). Whether your organization is independent or needs a lot of direction, you’ll want to select a partner that provides a level of support that most effectively meets your needs.

When evaluating a potential partner’s offerings, ask yourself:

  • Who is my point of contact for service and support needs?
  • What does short-term onboarding vs. long-term support look like?

5. Product Quality

The right partner should offer a quality software product that brings value to your organization. At minimum, the company should stand behind their software to ensure quality in the areas of uptime, usefulness, and user experience. Other areas to consider are security practices and scalability to grow as your organization grows. This is especially important when evaluating a company that offers a suite of software solutions. In the best case, the software of your choice is prioritized as a flagship solution and incorporates useful tools like artificial intelligence (AI) with real-time data and actionable insights.

Ask yourself:

  • How is my software of choice prioritized in the suite of solutions that the company offers?
  • Can I determine the quality of the software based on uptime, usefulness, user experience, security, and scalability?

6. Customer Satisfaction

When it comes to value, a potential partner should be able to demonstrate what they’ve done for their customers. They can give examples about how long it took to implement the software, go live, and take care of everything in-between. They can also explain in detail how they solved specific customer pain points.

The ultimate proof of satisfaction is when a company offers to put you in touch with existing customers.  This gesture of transparency gives you an opportunity to hear directly from customers about their experiences with the product, support, and unanticipated challenges/benefits.

When evaluating a potential partner based on the experience of other customers, ask yourself:

  • How open is this company to introducing me to their customers?
  • If so, what are the customers saying about this company?

Choose a Radiology Software Partner That Fits Your Organization 

You shouldn’t have to adapt your business to meet the needs of an external partner. They should work in lockstep with your organization’s objectives to fulfill the role you brought them in for. Furthermore, at the most fundamental level, your radiology software partner should be trustworthy, dependable, and reputable. Longevity, expertise, company culture, training & support, and customer satisfaction are all strong areas for consideration, but ultimately, only you know what combination works best for your organization.

At HealthLevel, our company focuses on engineering, product development, and support. This means we offer a unique combination of innovation and services to our customers. Since 2010, we’ve been leveling the healthcare playing field by making analytics accessible and useful to everyone in an organization through our radiology business operations platform, Foundations™.

* The statements presented in this blog do not constitute legal advice.

HealthLevel is the creator of Foundations™, a radiology business operations platform. By combining financial, clinical, and operational data, it uses analytics to paint a complete picture of a business’s operations. It engages every team member to confidently take actions that improve productivity and increase the bottom line. Learn more.

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