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Straight talk from the Heads of KLAS

December 17, 2009
by kate
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KLAS’ annual ranking of the best software and vendors is probably the most highly anticipated report in the healthcare IT industry. A high rating in the Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software and Professional Services means being able to display the sought-after logo on Web sites and at booths. Low marks, on the other hand, can be difficult to recover from.

So when the end-of-the-year report was made public earlier this week, it’s safe to say that the industry was all ears. Not surprisingly, Epic fared very well in a number of categories, including Acute Care EMR, according to KLAS President Adam Gale, one of the speakers at Tuesday’s Healthcare Informatics Webinar. That particular sector is the one where vendor ratings improved dramatically over the past year, and it was clear that a lot of time and energy were spent fixing what needed work, says Gale. On the other end of the spectrum was Ambulatory EMR, an area plagued with many challenges, including support issues.

Some other interesting bits from the Webinar (which also featured KLAS analysts Jason Hess, who specializes in Clinical Research, and Mike Smith of Financial/Services):

· Cardiology — there are a lot of vendors in this space, but none scored above average. Gale says it’s an area where there is great potential for a breakout leader

· Scheduling — this sector is one of the most competitive, as the high amount of vendors (many of whom scored very high) make it a tough market.

· Epic “continues to set the bar,” as only one of its 13 products decreased in ratings, according to Hess.

Cerner saw mid-to-low rankings in most software segments, while Eclipsys scored high in Decision Support and Acute EMR, but suffered in other areas. McKesson scored well in the community HIS market with its Paragon offering and has a strong presence in Homecare, and Siemens continues to do well in laboratory areas but poorly in clinical with its Soarian product. GE, meanwhile, seemed to struggle in many areas.

Some of these vendors, I’m sure, beg to differ with KLAS’ assessments, but Hess has become accustomed to the complaints. His response to frustrated vendors says a mouthful, in my opinion: “Do better.”

And that’s exactly what everyone will try to do in 2010.

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