Community hospitals increasingly look to large EMR vendors

Smaller hospitals increasingly are looking to the big clinical information systems vendors for their EMR and other point-of-care IT needs, mainly because they believe the vendors that have traditionally catered to large healthcare organizations give them a better chance of meeting "meaningful use" requirements, according to the latest market report from KLAS Enterprises.

Meditech, Cerner, McKesson's Paragon and Epic Systems seem to be the beneficiaries of this shift, KLAS says, often at the expense of vendors that have traditionally served community hospitals. The latter group includes Computer Programs and Systems Inc. (CPSI), Healthland (formerly Dairyland Healthcare Solutions), Healthcare Management Systems, Keane and the Siemens MedSeries 4 system, KLAS says.

This is the first KLAS "CIS Perception" report since 2008, before the meltdown in the financial sector and passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "The market for clinical information systems (CIS) was relatively sluggish, with vendors signing fewer new contracts in 2008 than any year since 2001," KLAS says. "Although more and more hospitals were automating clinically, growth was slow and generally limited to larger hospitals or ones with larger pocketbooks. Many smaller hospitals either could not afford such automation or could not see a way to justify the expense and effort."

The federal stimulus and related EMR incentive program for Medicare and Medicaid has changed that paradigm.

"Most large hospitals have already chosen a [clinical information system], so community hospitals represent the largest potential client pool for vendors," the report's author, Jason Hess, says, reports Government Health IT. "Providers don't seem to be considering community vendors as much," as they seek to qualify for federal EMR incentives in 2011 and 2012.

To learn more:
- take a look at this Government Health IT story
- find out how to order the KLAS report