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Large Hospital CIS Vendors Gaining In Smaller Markets

With Meaningful Use requirements in mind, smaller hospitals are shying away from traditional community clinical information systems vendors, according to a KLAS report.

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With Meaningful Use requirements in mind, hospitals with fewer than 150 beds are focusing less on traditional community CIS vendors and more on large hospital CIS vendors, according to a new KLAS report.

The first KLAS CIS perception report to include community hospital data -- 2010's CIS Perception 2010: Vendors Bridge the Size Gap -- finds that smaller hospitals are currently considering Meditech, Cerner, McKesson Paragon and Epic more often than traditional community CIS vendors CPSI, Healthland, HMS, Keane and Siemens MedSeries4.

"I think it really comes down to who can get me to deep clinicals; who are the vendors that can scale down (to between 100 and 150 beds) and who's integrated," said KLAS General Manager of Clinical Research Jason Hess, noting that only Epic and Cerner have a fully integrated suite of inpatient and outpatient EMR software.

Despite that, Meditech remains the most-considered vendor in community hospitals, many of which primarily focus inside their four walls. But even considering that, extensive wait times for software -- reportedly up to 18 months -- could be causing some to pass on the Massachusetts-based vendor.

"There's the challenge of how can they possibly scale and get that many customers live to 6.0 (the latest Meditech software). Magic (an earlier version) historically has not been reported as a real physician friendly application or product suite. So if your physicians need to be engaged for Meaningful Use, do you feel like you can get there with Magic?"

Specifically, Meditech is considered most often in small hospitals (1-150 beds), with Cerner getting the nod in mid-sized hospitals (151-300 beds). One feature many of those facilities like about Cerner is a remote-hosting option.

When it comes to McKesson, KLAS found its Paragon software is steadily gathering provider interest, while Horizon is approaching an important moment. To date, a few customers have gone live on Horizon 10.3 software, a version meant to sooth some integration issues providers had been grappling with.

"I don't know that (10.3) is the end all, but certainly there's a big chunk of functionality and promises that will be, hopefully, kept in that version. The big question there is can they get their customers to CPOE on a certified version?" asked Hess. "It needs to work, and they need to bring a lot of their folks up to that version pretty quickly."

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