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Vendor Assessment

PHII’s Vendor Assessment Methodology refers to a systematic process to collect information on potential information system products. The process is intended to assess each vendor product against applicable functional requirements that have been developed in collaboration with public health agencies. The purpose of the assessment is to provide an objective analysis of vendor products to assist public health departments in choosing a suitable information system.

Who benefits from the assessment?

The vendor assessment will be a resource for state and local health departments to explore the potential vendor-developed information systems that best meet their needs.

What does the assessment entail?

PHII will work with public health agency personnel who are responsible for acquisition, procurement or assessment processes for information systems that support public health programs. PHII will conduct vendor assessments by following the general steps depicted below:

*Note: The RFP begins with an understanding of the business requirements and categorizing them as “need to have” versus “nice to have." There may be additional technical requirements or constraints that must be articulated to the vendors, so it is best to involve the IT department early in this process.

What is the intended use?

The assessment is an independent, objective analysis that will be made available for public health practitioners to use as a guide to assist with selecting an information systems vendor based on how the software specifications meets their needs.

What is the output of the assessment?

The assessment provides a rigorous and systematic process for comparing vendor products and results in an objective assessment of vendors and their ability to meet the functional requirements definition.

What is the intended result?

The assessment serves as an input to initiate a vendor selection process. 

What are the limitations of this assessment?

This assessment does not seek to score, rank or recommend any specific vendor. The analysis itself represents a point-in-time snapshot of the functionality of these information systems. Functionalities will certainly change in the future. Once a vendor is selected, public health agencies are encouraged to work closely with the vendor to ensure their functional requirements needs are met.

The following is an example of a PHII-conducted Vendor Assessment: Electronic Disease Surveillance System (EDSS) Vendor Analysis