Lisa R Nelson
Medical Informatics and Health Information Technology Consulting

"I work in creative collaboration with smart, inspiring people on projects that contribute to the healing of the world.”

  -   Louise Hay

"Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to"

  -   Greg Anderson


Medical Informatics Technology Acquisition
MED INF 408 / Karin Lundgren, JD and Patricia Becker, MBA, FHIMSS
Course objectives

This course covered the entire lifecycle of acquiring information technology and medical informatics products and services. The focus ranged from concept exploration through contract execution, including consideration of organizational dynamics between different stakeholders in the acquisition process.

The topics studied included: concept exploration, organizational decision process and change management planning, requirements and specification development, buy vs. build assessments; sole source vs. open procurement models; requests for information (RFI); requests for proposals (RFP); vendor evaluation and selection criteria; principles of effective and ethical negotiations, different foundation business models and contract issues, cost analysis and justification and myriad contract negotiation issues and options.

The goals of this course were to:

  1. Understand the business imperatives and commitments needed for a major information technology acquisition;
  2. Acquire a working knowledge of organizational dynamics, due diligence requirements and purchasing alternatives to consider before engaging in the acquisition of major information technology products or services;
  3. Develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of contracts and/or license agreements that can be used in a technology acquisition, and the legal and business issues that drive contracting decisions;
  4. Enable students to work in teams to formally evaluate and assess the vendor options at their disposal for acquiring information technology products and services, including handling RFPs;
  5. Equip students with the skills to negotiate fair and ethical contracts which beneficially serve the business needs and missions of all parties involved; and prepare students with the core knowledge and critical thinking skills which can enable creative, incentive-based acquisitions and contracts.
Text and Selected Readings

“Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations”, Ury, ISBN-13: 978-0553371314 (required)

“Software Agreements Line by Line: A Detailed Look at Software Contracts and Licenses & How
to Change Them to Fit Your Needs”; Overly, et al; ISBN-13: 978-1587623691 (required)

“Healthcare Information Management Systems. Cases, Strategies, and Solutions” Marion Ball,

Charlotte Weaver and Joan Keiel. Thirds Edition. Springer Publications, ISBN-10: 0387408053 (optional)

“The Book of Standard Legal Business Agreements, Contracts and Forms for Computer Software Programming, IT, and Web Site Design & Development”; Platinum Millennium Publishing; ISBN-978-0971339897 (optional)

Working with Contracts: What Law School Doesn't Teach You; Fox; ISBN-13: 9781402401589 (optional)

United States Government Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): (optional)

Negotiating and Drafting Contract Boilerplate”, Stark; ISBN-13: 978-1588521057 (optional)

“Negotiation: Your Mentor and Guide to Doing Business Effectively”, Harvard Business Essentials, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN_13: 978-1-59139-111-1

NICHSR primer on healthcare technology assessment: (optional)

Course artifacts

Statement of Work

HIE Request For Proposal – Board Report

HIE Request For Proposal

Sample Vendor Response

Vendor Selection Analysis Report

Vendor Selection Board Presentation

Contract Negotiation

Reflection statement

This course provided an instructional view into legal issues relevant to the health information technology industry. The course was designed to equip a health information technology professional with commonly needed legal knowledge. It also provided a larger view, painting a broad context for future navigation into legal specialty areas. The course was very enlightening. It provided a general appreciation for this unique dimension of health information technology. The complexity involved in legislative matters brought to light for me the importance of having legal counsel on any management team. Whether running a hospital or a growing a software business, the legislative issues affecting health information technology play an important role. From intellectual property protection to privacy and security rules, legal issues represent some of the major risks to be managed for all types of organizations. Learning about the legal issues affecting patients and their data added a personal component to the knowledge gained. This course raised my ability to spot and address the legal issues present in my HIT environment and reduced my reluctance to seek additional expertise when facing legal issues.