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How to Get Exactly What You Need From Athena Marketplace

Author: Ravi Kalidindi
A doctor on an iPad, looking at Athena Marketplace.

Athena Marketplace is at the forefront of change in EMR behavior. The company realized that EMR systems will always have gaps, and that the best way to fill those gaps is with an ecosystem of integrated partners.

The extensive Athena Marketplace is a huge benefit for users, but it also creates a challenge. With so many third-party vendors to sift through, how do you find the best-fit solutions for your healthcare organization?

We’ve found that an organized, systematic approach works best to help you get the most out of Athena Marketplace and find a solution that meets both your immediate and long-term needs. Take a look at our step-by-step guide below.

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Step #1: Document Your Highest Priorities

Before you even begin browsing Athena Marketplace, we recommend creating a simple spreadsheet to help guide your search process and keep you on course in a sea of options.

  • To begin, take some time to think about your goals — both your immediate needs and long-term objectives at least for the next couple of years).
  • Next, consider which goals are the most important to you and rank them from highest to lowest priority.
  • Finally, choose keywords to match each of your goals. By keywords, we mean terms that relate to the features vendors provide or the problems those features solve. For example, if your goal is to digitize patient intake to make your front desk more efficient, you may use the keywords “digital intake forms” or “digital check-in.” Since each vendor lists their product’s capabilities in the product description, you’ll use these keywords to search Athena Marketplace.

Documenting your organization’s priorities ahead of time ensures you don’t get lost wandering through the multitude of Athena Marketplace options. You can reference our sample spreadsheet as a guide.

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Step #2: Search for Your Top Goal’s Keywords

Next, you’ll search for the keyword(s) you chose for your highest-ranked goal using the search bar at the top right-hand corner of Athena Marketplace.

An important note here: Don’t assume Athena Marketplace will filter your search results based on best fit or highest popularity. Organic results are displayed according to keyword relevance alone, though Athena Marketplace also includes sponsored listings from advertising vendors, marked as “Accelerate Partners.”

So, if you type a multi-word query into the search bar, like “digital intake forms,” you’ll see a list of results from products whose descriptions include the best match for that keyword. Though some results may mention the term in their description, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is the best match in terms of functionality.

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Step #3: Filter by Capabilities That Match Your Goals

To further refine your search, Athena Marketplace offers a capabilities filter to narrow your results. The options are quite detailed ranging from payment solutions to care coordination to patient acquisition.

In our example of searching for the keyword “digital intake forms,” you might also select the following capabilities:

  • Digital check-in
  • Patient communications
  • Patient surveys

These contribute toward the goal of digitizing patient intake to make the front desk more efficient, but they also address the other goals from our sample spreadsheet: reducing no-shows and collecting valuable patient feedback. By filtering your results in this way, you increase your likelihood of finding a single solution that meets many or all of your goals. 

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Step #4: Choose ‘Sort by Relevance’

Once you choose your capabilities, make sure you’ve selected “Sort: Relevance” from the dropdown menu. This ensures your search page displays results according to the keyword(s) and the desired capabilities.

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Step #5: Prioritize Results With Customer Reviews

When you get your list of filtered and sorted results, prioritize solutions with customer ratings and reviews. It’s not foolproof, but choosing an option with multiple reviews and ratings gives you some idea of whether a product has worked for others in real-world applications.

Step #6: Read Descriptions, Data Sheets, Case Studies, and Customer Reviews

Once you find a highly-rated solution that might meet your needs, click through and read the description, data sheets, case studies, and reviews.

Descriptions and data sheets give you a better understanding of each product’s features and capabilities. Case studies and reviews provide honest insights into how other healthcare organizations have used (and liked) the product.

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Step #7: Validate Vendors on Websites and Social Media

Be sure to validate any vendors you’re interested in by visiting their websites and social media accounts. Try to learn more about the company and the services they offer via blog posts, videos, or other educational materials.

Step #8: Narrow Down to the Top Three

Once you have a list of reputable vendors with solid solutions that meet your goals, narrow it down to the top three contenders. If you’re using the chart we provided, you can jot them down in the “Vendor 1,” “Vendor 2,” and “Vendor 3” columns.

Step #9: Reach Out for a Demo

Finally, reach out to your top three vendors to request a demo. During the demo, ask specific questions to determine whether the solution will serve your current and future goals. If needed, request references.

Once you speak to all three vendors, have your questions answered, and determine which solution is the best fit for you, reach out to the company’s implementation team to get started!

Meet Us in Athena Marketplace

Athena Marketplace is flush with vendors providing all manner of digital solutions for athenahealth clients. Simple Interact is one of them, and we take pride in providing deeply integrated, comprehensive solutions that allow healthcare organizations meet all their goals with one platform.

If you’re looking through Athena Marketplace and come across our platform, we hope you’ll contact us for a demo of our full-service front-office automation platform. We’re committed to personalized, top-tier service, and we’d be happy to answer any and all questions you have.

Have questions?

We would love to share our expertise in front office automation.

Call us if you just have questions.

844-255-7467 Ext 1

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