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February 25, 2009
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McKesson: Paragon® as a Platform for Hospitals' Growth

“A lot of the hospital representatives we talk to these days aren't just looking for a replacement HIS,” says Walter Reid, vice president of product management and marketing for McKesson's Paragon® community hospital HIS. “They're looking for a platform for growth.”

Reid notes that community hospitals in particular tend to rely on very old hospital information systems built on individual solutions added over several decades. This kind of infrastructure requires beleaguered IT staff to manage a huge number of interfaces and disparate applications from multiple vendors.

“Hospitals want to get away from the complexity,” says Reid. “They want to modernize and simplify. But they also want to promote patient safety as well as physician and nurse job satisfaction.”

McKesson's Paragon solution, the Best in KLAS Community HIS for the third year in a row1

KLAS client commentary, August 2008, Platinum KLAS. ©2009 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

, is well-situated to establish these platforms for growth.

“Paragon runs on a Microsoft platform that uses SQL Server, the industry standard,” says Reid. “It's the only way to achieve the stability and performance hospitals need for the future.”

Take the clinical data repository (CDR) function, for example. While other vendors offer CDRs separately, Reid explains that Paragon customers don't need one. “Paragon is a contemporary, innovative solution designed as a person-centric, clinical and financial data repository that stores every transaction, and data never needs to be archived,” he says.

Paragon is well-positioned to support hospitals' growth because it's in a growth phase of its own. All products have a lifecycle: development, market introduction, growth, plateau, maturation and decline.

“We're just at the initial stages of the high-growth phase, whereas many products in this market are declining,” says Reid. “In the last 12 months, we've introduced seven products within the Paragon portfolio, ranging from denial management to emergency room and pharmacy management.”

McKesson's customer base for Paragon has more than doubled in the last three years. Such growth often comes at the expense of customer service. However, if the KLAS ratings from 2006, 2007 and 2008 are any indication, it's a good time to be a customer growing with Paragon.

  1. 2008 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services, December 2008, pg. 18,, © 2008 2009 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Perot Systems: Getting Organizations Ready for the Healthcare Reform Ride

“Some people like to compare healthcare reform to climbing a mountain,” says Dr. Harry Greenspun, chief medical officer of Perot Systems healthcare group. “But it's more like whitewater rafting. There's some smooth water, but it's constantly broken up by rough rapids.”

Healthcare reform is flowing again. In such an era of uncertainty, consulting partners need more than technology expertise, and healthcare organizations need to be strategically positioned to navigate the unexpected.

The ability to take advantage of change is one of the primary explanations for Perot Systems' success and, undoubtedly, its Best in KLAS rating in the Clinical Implementation Principal market segment. According to Dr. Greenspun, Perot Systems' accomplishment derives from three interrelated qualities.

For more than 20 years, Perot Systems has used its depth of experience to help healthcare organizations elevate their ability to collect, analyze, and exchange data. “But in the face of current trends like pay-for-performance, public health reporting requirements, evidence-based medicine, and consumer-driven health, Perot Systems also plays a role in adding confidence to our clients' decision-making,” says Greenspun. “We have an army of physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists who bring a wealth of domain expertise. And because knowledge transfer is one of our strengths, clients pull from a very large field of experience.”

Depth and expertise are necessary, but not sufficient. Perot Systems' reputation for flexible technology solutions is complemented by infrastructure, application and business process capabilities. “Anyone can install a clinical application,” says Dr. Greenspun. “But to get the most out of it, you need to master change management principles, understand how people interact with technology, and apply concepts from the provider, payer, supplier, and government sectors.”

Because Perot Systems is vendor neutral, its consultants draw on a full range of options to meet client needs. Neutrality becomes an asset in such a complex environment that calls for complex solutions.

Regardless of how wild the ride gets on the political front, healthcare organizations will continue to look for deep expertise, a global perspective and a partner, like Perot Systems, with a clear solution.