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Underserved Critical Access Hospitals Hungry for More IT Capability

Facing the same meaningful use deadlines as larger organizations but with only a few viable vendor options, critical access hospitals are eager for more IT power, according to a report from KLAS. OREM, UT, August 03, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — Facing the same meaningful use deadlines as larger organizations but with only a few viable vendor options, critical access hospitals are eager for more IT power, according to a report from KLAS.

The new report, "Closing the IT Gap: Critical Access to 50 Bed Hospitals", highlights the experiences of more than 300 healthcare professionals at hospitals with 50 or fewer beds. Providers at these critical access facilities generally reported an appetite for software capability that exceeds vendors’ ability to deliver, particularly in areas like computerized physician order entry (CPOE).

Only a handful of electronic medical record (EMR) vendors specifically serve the critical access market, with CPSI, Healthland and HMS enjoying the most market share. Of those companies, Healthland received the highest performance rating in the KLAS report, but none of the vendors’ solutions earned high marks for adequate functionality.

"Among the three vendors rated in the report, Healthland’s EMR solution earned the highest score for having the needed functionality," said Paul Pitcher, KLAS research director and author of the new report. "But that score was still relatively low, with only 55 percent of customers satisfied.

"In addition, for all of the rated products, only about 50 percent of the provider comments regarding functionality and upgrades were positive, suggesting significant gaps with the current offerings," Pitcher said.

One of the foremost pieces of missing functionality, particularly in light of impending meaningful use requirements, is CPOE. The KLAS report notes that CPSI is by far the leader in delivering CPOE to critical access hospitals, with 17 live organizations that are likely to be the most ready for meaningful use. In general, however, CPOE adoption is limited and shallow in this space, with a total of only 21 critical access hospitals known to be live on CPOE.

Beyond the three leading vendors, a few companies that have traditionally served larger community hospitals are also having some impact among facilities with 50 or fewer beds. McKesson Paragon is increasingly being considered by hospital executives in smaller spaces, and QuadraMed has a few Affinity clients, most of which are financial customers, in critical access hospitals. Although Meditech is known as a community hospital vendor, the cost of the Meditech EMR prevents the smallest hospitals from seriously considering it.

To learn more about the EMR software market at hospitals with 50 or fewer beds, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, the report "Closing the IT Gap: Critical Access to 50 Bed Hospitals" is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit http://www.KLASresearch.com.

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4,500 hospitals and over 2,500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures the performance of software, professional services and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to http://www.KLASresearch.com, email [email protected] or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.


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