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The State of Cardiology IT

June 26, 2009
by root
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Physician frustration, rapidly advancing technology, and an abundance of sophisticated solutions mean no one is safe from replacement

KLAS says: There is no one-stop shop in cardiology IT, nor does one size fit all. For CIOs and cardiology directors in search of a CVIS, there are massive differences in design scope and delivery among the CVIS vendors that must be considered. Which vendor is closest to developing a complete CVIS? Who handles imaging and reporting functions for both invasive and noninvasive labs?

When a cardiology IT purchase is proposed, the most important questions begin with the prospective client's strategy:

Is the search conducted as an inside-out strategy starting with the cardiology department, or as an outside-in strategy that begins with the core clinical framework?

Is the sought-for solution intended as a strictly departmental strategy, or as part of an enterprise imaging initiative?

What degree of scalability is needed in terms of multi-lab or multi-facility functionality and patient volumes?

KLAS interviewed healthcare providers to discover how vendors were helping clients answer these questions. (The top five, as per overall performance score, are represented here.)

“KLAS' Bottom Lines”

Digisonics - Digisonics serves the particular areas of echo and noninvasive labs, and serves them well. The investment in specialized tool sets has paid off for providers using the system in pediatric echo and areas of academic research. A few clients report some success in branching DigiView out to the cath lab, nuclear cardiology, and cardiac CT, which represent rare exceptions in the Digisonics customer base. Clients are not yet able to articulate a vision for where Digisonics will be in the next few years.

Emageon - Clients are largely satisfied with Emageon's cardiology platform; it is proven and is able to scale to larger organizations. Camtronics is one of the more expansive platforms, with modules that cover image management and reporting in cath, echo, vascular/peripheral vascular, nuclear cardiology, and hemodynamics. The issue now is that customers feel they are thrust into unknown territory with the company's acquisition by AMICAS. It will be critical for AMICAS/Emageon to articulate a solid vision to answer the many questions that clients have.

Fujifilm - The ProSolv platform has proven to be popular; it has won considerable business in both the inpatient and outpatient care venues. While most ProSolv clients are positive about the acquisition by Fujifilm, they would like to see more emphasis put on expanding product functionality at a faster pace than what is happening currently.

McKesson - Customers like the direction McKesson is headed with Horizon Cardiology's integrated cardiology platform, but they are unsure of when they are going to get stronger, more expansive capabilities. McKesson clients are committed to the long haul; fewer clients were considering the replacement of McKesson than any other vendor in this study.

ScImage - ScImage is proven in hospitals seeking an image management solution without in-depth reporting or extensive interfaces to third-party systems. Clients are happy with what they have and feel that the product has been worth their money. For some reason, whether it is a marketing or product issue, ScImage rarely makes it to the final round of vendor selections, if they are invited to the table at all.

Healthcare Informatics 2009 July;26(7):22