Have you ever stopped to think about how many vendor contracts and service agreements you’ve accepted in the past year?
If you use Google, you agree to their terms. Facebook and Twitter too. Any time you’ve created a profile online, you click a little box saying you agree. You’re bound by their terms.
Of course, those are just free services online. How about everything you use within your practice? The hosting for your website? The program you use for your EHR? The agreement for your phone system? The software you use to make your office operate efficiently?
Yep, if you really think about it, you’ve checked a lot of boxes and signed a lot of documents. And chances are you didn’t do much reading before you did it. Who has the time? One prediction stated it would take 76 work days a year just to keep up with all of the reading.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t be held liable in the event something goes wrong. That’s when it’s more important than ever to know what you’ve signed.
When you agree to use a vendor’s product or service, it should include:
A clear description of what you’re getting. It should state it in clear and understandable language.
Payment terms. It should state how much the product or service costs, when payments are due, how they will be paid, and what happens in the event of a late payment.
Terms and conditions. Not all relationships work out. The agreement should define the terms of engagement, and what will happen in the event of termination.
Deliverables. You vendor agreement should also describe what deliverables there are and how they will be presented to you.
Intellectual property. While the vendor may own the program, you have rights as well. The agreement should clearly define who owns what, what’s transferable, and the scope of how it can be used in your business environment.
Confidentiality. Don’t ignore HIPAA rules. Most vendor agreements will provide details on how the information will be handled throughout the process. Be sure it fits both within your own requirements, as well as meeting government regulations.
Limited liability. A lot of vendors will include a limited liability clause in their contracts. This will limit the damages and a party’s liability in the event of wrongdoing.
Of course, this is just a few of the things you’ll find in the agreements you sign to help operate your business. The main purpose of having an agreement is to clearly define the rights and obligations of each party of the process. This helps avoid confusion and conflict down the road in the event something goes wrong.
How well do you pay attention to the programs you use in your office every day?
How many times have you checked the box without thinking about the consequences?
How well do all of your third-party systems work together?
How protected are you in the event of a problem?
Not sure? Take charge today. We have a solution for that. We can help clearly define your goals and strategies and ensure you are using the right services for your needs.
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.