The Request for Proposal (RFP)

The key document in successful systems acquisition


The health care industry is complex and changing. Management in this environment requires significant quantities of acurate timely data for administrators and clinicians alike. In response to this demand, health care facilities have sought to upgrade or replace their computer systems with ones that have greater ability to enhance decision making in real time. The standard development process dictates a requirements analysis, with a Request for Proposal (RFP) as a likely product. This document, which delineates the institution's needs and provides a guide for appropriate vendor responses, has been given scant attention in the literature, particularly in the health care environment. This paper attempts to provide insight into what the goals and objectives of the RFP should be and explicates those elements that are necessary to produce an effective instrument. It details what information should be included about the institution, basic hardware and software issues that should be addressed, and proposes guidelines for response and evaluation. It is suggested that the proper development of an RFP will be a key factor in the successful acquisition of an appropriate health care information system.

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Mandell, S.F. The Request for Proposal (RFP). J Med Syst 10, 31–39 (1986).

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  • Health Care
  • Health Care Facility
  • Care Industry
  • Requirement Analysis
  • Care Environment