KLAS: Community hospitals cite physician adoption as key item in HIS selection

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Unlike past purchase decisions where cost and resource requirements dominated, community hospital executives now consider physician adoption the foremost criterion when purchasing a hospital information system (HIS), according to a report released Tuesday from KLAS.

For the report, KLAS interviewed 64 community hospitals with fewer than 200 beds that were planning to purchase a HIS. The report found that, in light of new meaningful use requirements, many community hospital executives are now considering more complex–and often more costly–IT solutions, which many providers perceive as supporting greater clinician adoption.

“The ARRA [ American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] is driving the emphasis on physician adoption,” said report author Paul Pitcher, KLAS research director. “Meaningful use requirements are forcing buyers to focus on this issue rather than cost and infrastructure, which were the much more significant criteria in the past.”

According to their findings, Meditech still dominates provider mindshare for HIS solutions, with McKesson also gaining significant traction recently. Meditech continues to leverage its reputation as a low-cost, integrated solution, with 70 percent of providers including Meditech in their selection process. McKesson’s Paragon was the next most-considered solution, with 48 percent of providers planning to include Paragon in their due diligence. However, the focus on physician adoption is also bringing a new group of vendors into purchasing discussions.

“Cerner, Eclipsys, Epic [Systems] and Siemens' [Healthcare] Soarian are at the table more frequently due to a perceived higher potential for clinician adoption,” Pitcher said. Of those vendors, Cerner was mentioned by 30 percent of respondents as a solution they would consider, followed by Eclipsys and Epic at 16 percent each, and then Siemens’ Soarian at 8 percent.

The consideration of these traditional large hospital solutions in community HIS purchases has also been spurred by the shrinking opportunity for new sales among large organizations, according to the authors.

The KLAS report notes that while 95 percent of hospitals with more than 200 beds have already chosen their clinical information system, many more new buying decisions are occurring among smaller organizations. In effect, the community hospital market is the new battleground.

Other vendors highlighted in the report include CPSI [Computer Programs and Systems, Inc.], Healthland, HMS [Healthcare Management Systems], Keane and QuadraMed.