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INDUSTRY EXCLUSIVE - KLAS: A Lack of Execution Forced Change at Allscripts

December 21, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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KLAS researcher says customers were disappointed with Allscripts' recent performance
Glen Tullman

Glen Tullman’s resignation as CEO of EHR vendor Allscripts (Chicago) was not a complete shock to Jason Hess, the executive vice president of  research at the Orem, Utah-based KLAS, who notes the EHR vendor has seen an increasing amount of negative feedback from customers. Hess, in an exclusive interview with Healthcare Informatics, said customers are disappointed Allscripts hasn’t delivered on its expectations when it comes to integrating its ambulatory and inpatient EHR products.

Hess also noticed in KLAS’ recent annual customer assessment of the health IT vendor market that a number of Allscripts’ products showed a downward trend in performance. He added that while Tullman did a lot of great things in terms of being the face of the company and spending time with customers, based on the reaction Hess and others at KLAS got from customers, “something had to change.”

Allscripts announced the change this week in a press release, with Tullman stepping down and Paul M. Black, an industry veteran who served on Allscripts’ board and worked as COO at the Kansas City-based Cerner, as the new CEO. Over the past several months, Allscripts has dealt with board upheaval, a drop in stock price, a public battle with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and a possible buyout from a third-party (although in the press release from this week, Dennis Chookaszian, Allscripts’ chairman of the board, said the company is going to stay the course).

According to Hess, many customers who have talked with KLAS noticed these changes too. “Some were concerned by that, and to Glen’s credit, he did a good job going out and stabilizing things,” Hess says. “But when you’re not executing on things you promise, that’s what caused this action.”

With Black, Hess says Allscripts is getting a health IT veteran that has experience serving on numerous boards and running things from the business side. Ultimately, he’ll need to execute on the promises that Allscripts has made to its customers in terms of product support and integration, says Hess.

On the overall EMR/EHR market, Hess is unsure if this move will have a significant impact. He notes the consolidation that many thought was going to happen in the inpatient segment has yet to occur.

In terms of Tullman’s lasting legacy, Hess says Allscripts long-time leader will be regarded as a “visionary on openness, extremely customer-facing,” and a “talented leader.”