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Some thoughts on KLAS scores

I have had the opportunity to look at the comparative scores reported by KLAS for significant HIT vendors.  I notice something interesting, but maybe it is my imagination.  Vendors which (intuitively) dominate support for more extensive, sophisticated hospitals, academic medical centers, and healthcare systems enjoy relatively high approval from most clients.  HIT vendors (again, intuitively) commonly associated with smaller, community and critical access hospitals also report remarkably similar client feedback results, but this group looks much more like a standard bell curve (some likes, some dislikes, with a majority in the mildly dissatisfied middle).

The general conclusion may well be valid, that the “big” HIT vendors are inherently better than the smaller players.  The “bigs” are indeed more flexible, sophisticated and, perhaps, broader in the degree of clinical practice supportted than their simpler counterparts.  I am not convinced that this makes the big players, necessarily better, but different.

What intrigues me is the consistency of vendor scores within each of these tiers.  Are they all more or less the same in features, services, and go to market practices or is another variable impacting results?  What other variables are there besides the vendor?

How about the characteristics, capabilities, and quality of the client?  Might scores of small hospital HIT vendors reflect IT resources and funding smaller facilities can invest to support tool use?  If a smaller facility is struggling to survive in this difficult, turbulent environment, it seems likely that IT may be one service that feels the pinch but can also be perceived as one of the reasons for the struggle.

Enough sympathy for vendors.  They serve the markets they serve.  If a market segment has challenges, then vendors must act to solve them or live with poor product perception.  But what can they do?

Vendors can establish performance data sharing agreements with clients.  They can begin correlating client operating performance to tool content, configurations, workflows, metrics, infrastructure provisioning and other factors to define best practices objectively.  They can offer operating experience optimization services to struggling clients which will improve unsatisfactory performance.   Over time, KLAS and other evaluation site scores will improve.  Winning hospitals tend to be happier with their tools and vendors.

Or vendors can be more selective about who they sell their tools too.  The market might be a bit tight, however, for a vendor focusing exclusively on hospitals who are great with IT.

In any event, hospital leaders might consider that every HIT vendor has clients who are happy with the service, functionality and price/value.  It may be wise to reach out to these teams to understand what they may be doing which explains their perception.

Having all hospitals experience great patient outcomes, sustainable quality, and financial stability is a goal that everyone can share.

If your hospital is struggling with IT experience, or your clients are holding their IT vendor(s) accountable for poor medical staff relations, safety or financial performance, it is time to get some help.  Contact BrightWork Advisory to schedule an assessment of your operating situation and development of a plan to improve outcomes today.

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