KLAS: No single cardiology IT vendor has it all

While healthcare systems have found some success with cardiology IT, they still are searching for the integration, functionality, and comprehensive modules they seek in a single product line, according to a new KLAS report.

"Though no vendor handles every provider desire with ease, some are closer to meeting those needs than others," Monique Rasband, cardiology research director and author of the report, said in a statement. "Most providers are anxious to be able to work with one vendor who has the needed modules and functional strength to make their physicians, clinical users, and integration successful. Providers who wish to cover several modalities while going to a single vendor are left wanting more."

From the survey of more than 570 providers, the report ranked vendor products in three tiers, with McKesson, Merge, Philips, and Siemens on the top level. McKesson's overall performance score has improved, though some customers have reported problems with cath reporting. Merge customers report satisfaction with the cardio picture archiving and communication system (CPACS) and reporting. Siemens users generally were happy, but are still waiting for some functionality improvements.

Tier-two vendors--Digisonics, LUMEDX, and ScImage--scored pretty well on performance, but struggled with adoption in some key areas. Digisonics had strong adoption in echo but less in cath, a strong area for LUMEDX, along with CPACS. However it trailed in adoption in echo and vascular/peripheral vascular. ScImage had strong adoption in CPACS, but could improve in reporting, especially for cath.

Tier-three vendors--Agfa, Fuji, and GE--struggled in both performance and adoption. All three promised functionality that customers had yet to see, which hurt their performance scores.

A recent study touted the benefits of combining imaging tests to improve heart care, though cardiology has been at the center of the debate over inappropriate tests. Another recent study found that a clinical decision-support tool based on American College of Cardiology (ACC) criteria improved the level of appropriate care.

A previous KLAS report cited the need for CDS systems to integrate with physician workflow, while a study published at BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making cited cardiology among the areas with unique opportunities for improvement using decision-support tools.

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