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:'''A huge advantage of open source software is the ability to choose whom will provide you support.''' ''You are NOT locked into one vendor when you choose OpenEMR, and if you don't like your current model of support or vendor, then it is very easy to change. ''
::'''Depending on your comfort level, the options for support include:'''
::#Doing it yourself (ie. Free Support).
::#Hiring a third party(or employee(s)) to support you.
::#Somewhere in between.
:'''The mechanisms of free support by the community include the tools found on this [http://www.open-emr.org website]'''. These tools include the extensive documentation found in the [[OpenEMR_Wiki_Home_Page|OpenEMR Project Wiki]] and the active [http://www.open-emr.org/forum.shtml forums] (there are about 30 posts daily in the [http://www.open-emr.org/forum.shtml forum], which is monitored by several hundred developers and users).
::'''There are clinics that have gone this route successfully''' (However, this does require IT knowledge to ensure security, reliability and adequate backing up of OpenEMR)
:'''A huge advantage of OpenEMR is that you are NOT locked into one vendor. You can choose your vendor, and you are always free to hire (and fire) whomever you want to support your OpenEMR software.'''
::*For example, if you do not like the rates or customer service of your current vendor, then you can simply fire them and hire another vendor to support your current OpenEMR installation; the OpenEMR software does NOT change. As a consumer, this gives you a huge amount of leverage when working with your vendor.
:'''How do I choose a vendor?''' There are several things to consider when choosing a vendor/developer to support OpenEMR.
::*Ensure the vendor/developer has experience with OpenEMR. We maintain a list of [[OpenEMR Professional Support|vendors/developers that specifically support OpenEMR]].
::*If you are planning to customize the software (which is very common and another huge advantage of open source software), then recommend ensuring the vendor/developer has demonstrated competence in developing code for OpenEMR. We maintain a list of [[:Category:Certified OpenEMR Contributor|vendors/developers that are 'Certified OpenEMR Contributors']], whom have demonstrated an ongoing competence in OpenEMR development.