KLAS ranks digital mammography players

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KLAS evaluates digital mammo vendors. Source: Jupiter Medical Center  

KLAS has published its Digital Mammography Report, an inaugural study that investigates the successes and challenges providers have had incorporating digital mammography into their hospital or clinic. The study focused on the digital mammography market as a result of provider demand for user feedback.

According to the report, despite tremendous market growth, there are currently relatively few full-field digital mammography (FFDM) vendors with FDA approval, but several more are poised for entry, pending FDA approval. Current FFDM vendors ranked in the report are GE Healthcare, Hologic and Siemens Medical Solutions, with early trending data on Fujifilm Medical Systems USA.

Of the survey respondents, the top users surveyed were: radiology directors/managers (29 percent); chief technicians (20 percent); mammography directors/managers (19 percent).

Each vendor was assigned an overall performance score based on their performance in each of the following areas: product/technology, service, success and business.

GE received the first place ranking in this study, and Hologic was a close second. These two vendors comprise the top tier for overall client satisfaction in areas of sales/contracting, implementation, post sales support, and product quality. Siemens scored below both GE and Hologic, according to the report.

Areas of concern from users surrounding the top two vendors centered on their need to scale to the growing demand. “Clients for both vendors are beginning to report missed installation deadlines. The supply chain is being stretched, and providers are taking notice,” the report said.

Much of the reason for the disparity in performance scoring is due to initial product quality issues. For Siemens, there have been reports of multiple detector failures which have caused unmet expectations as well as missed implementation deadlines, according to the report.

However, the results showed that providers believe that Siemens, as a service organization, has worked diligently to resolve these issues and has not abandoned its clients. Siemens’ clients also exhibited the highest degree of workflow improvement, with approximately 93 percent of respondents reporting some level of improvement.

According to the report, most mammography departments have started to realize that merely installing an FFDM device does “not translate into greater efficiency, as there are ‘no significant’ issues to be addressed.” The primary goal for digital mammography implementation, clinical outcomes aside, is to “increase throughput and workflow efficiency and gain revenue enhancements.”

Based on the results from the survey, the report projects that the “rapid growth of the digital mammography market is poised to continue for the next several years.” The FDA reported in July 2007 that 21 percent of the approximately 9,000 Mammography Quality Standard Act sites in the United States had gone digital with at least one mammography system. The report said this growth will be enhanced by new developments but the DRA will “force more facilities to make the decision between closing their mammography departments and upgrading to digital to achieve higher efficiencies.”

More information about the report is available at http://healthcomputing.com/Klas/Site/Store/ReportDetail.aspx?ProductID=466 and through the website www.healthcomputing.com.