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Under the Gun

August 27, 2010
by David Raths
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Meaningful Use Timelines are Pressuring Vendors to Improve Performance On Cpoe, Interoperability

Are Vendors Up to the Task?

The Mid-Term Performance Review Provides a Timely Assessment Against the Backdrop of Meaningful Use

The June release of the KLAS 2010 Mid-Term Performance Review came at an interesting time, several weeks prior to the official announcement of the final meaningful use rule under the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA-HITECH) Act. That coincidence makes the insights provided in this report especially relevant to both vendors and healthcare providers.

To be sure, vendors have not been sitting idly by in anticipation of the final meaningful use rule. Many have been refining their software offerings in anticipation of new requirements that health providers now know they will have to meet-all within relatively demanding timelines. With the release of the final rule, the time has arrived for health providers to take a hard look at how closely vendors’ offerings will meet their needs before making purchasing decisions.

This year's KLAS Mid-Term Performance Review takes into account major shifts that have occurred during the last year. In preparing the report on the following pages, HCI Senior Contributing Editor David Raths interviewed key industry observers, who provide their perspectives on industry trends, priorities of health providers, and the vendor competitiveness. Their views provide insight into what is really going on behind the numbers.

In this mid-year snapshot in time, experts weigh in on several key trends of equal importance to both vendors and health providers. What are the key deciding factors in electronic medical record buying decisions? Will meaningful use signal a time to switch vendors? What new criteria are CIOs using to evaluate their software options? How have the mergers and acquisitions that have taken place over the past year affected product offerings? How successfully have vendors integrated their product offerings?

While there are few clear-cut answers to those questions at this time of fast-paced industry change, the informed opinions expressed here, coupled with the hard numbers in this mid-term KLAS report, provide a reliable tool to help vendors and their customers plan their software strategies.

Jason Hess
Jason Hess

With the pace of industry change being driven by the meaningful use requirements of the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA-HITECH) Act, healthcare executives are paying closer attention than ever to the capabilities of their information systems. The potential to qualify for federal funding is shaping health IT leaders’ perceptions of a range of products offered by commercial vendors, say executives at the Orem, Utah-based KLAS. As a result, shifts in ratings, whether large or small, in the KLAS 2010 Mid-Term Performance Review: Software & Professional Services report could be significant to hospitals and health systems considering software upgrades or vendor switches.

This mid-term review, released in June, shows product trending of performance by vendors such as Meditech, McKesson, Siemens, Cerner, Epic, Eclipsys, and GE Healthcare. The review is a snapshot in time mid-year between Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards reports.


Because computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is high on the list of meaningful use requirements, it continues to be a deciding factor in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor decisions, says Jason Hess, general manager of clinical research for KLAS. “The vendors that are seeing a growing installed base in hospitals align with those doing well on CPOE,” he says, “and the leading vendors continue to be Cerner, Epic, and Eclipsys.”



KLAS Chart Legend

*Denotes the number of participating organizations. Visit www.KLASresearch.com/konfidence to learn more.
*Denotes the number of participating organizations. Visit www.KLASresearch.com/konfidence to learn more.

As the 2011 meaningful use deadlines grow closer, fewer organizations are considering a major switch of vendor, he adds. “But if their current vendor can't demonstrate CPOE, some CIOs are still looking at a different vendor. They figure why not peel that Band-Aid off now rather than later.”


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