Small hospitals look to big vendors for clinical IT

As they strive to meet meaningful use criteria, hospitals with fewer than 150 beds are focusing less on traditional community clinical information systems (CIS) vendors and more on the large vendors, according to a new KLAS report.

The first KLAS CIS perception report to include community hospital data, 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.

"Most large hospitals have already chosen a CIS, so community hospitals represent the largest potential client pool for vendors," said Jason Hess, general manager of clinical research at KLAS and author of the new report. "Historically, the smaller hospital space has been ruled by MEDITECH and community vendors. However, with meaningful use requirements to consider, providers don't seem to be considering community vendors as much."

MEDITECH remains the most-considered vendor in community hospitals, but Cerner's hosted offering is making in-roads, and McKesson's Paragon is steadily gathering provider interest. To a lesser extent, Epic's mindshare is also growing in the community market.

"Epic's mindshare in community hospitals was somewhat surprising, since those hospitals have to partner with larger hospitals to even be considered a potential customer by Epic," Hess said. "Few have made this jump, but many are considering it."

In this study, MEDITECH is considered most often in small hospitals (1-150 beds), Cerner in mid-sized hospitals (151-300 beds), and Epic in large hospitals (more than 300 beds); all three are receiving frequent consideration from hospitals of all sizes. Eclipsys, GE, Healthland, HMS, McKesson Horizon and Paragon, QuadraMed, and Siemens Soarian are also highlighted in this report.