Soarian lifting, but not yet soaring

By Bernie Monegain
10:04 AM

After years of struggles, Siemens Soarian technology has achieved a marked increase in clinical adoption and a parallel 9 percent jump in customer satisfaction, according to a new study from research firm KLAS.

For the study Siemens Soarian: Making Strides in Clinical Adoption, KLAS contacted 32 Soarian customers. The customers described improvements in Siemens' service and product quality, deeper clinical adoption by physicians and nurses, and better interfacing with Siemens' pharmacy system.

"Providers are saying that Siemens has turned a corner," said Jason Hess, KLAS director of clinical research and author of the report. "At the onset, Siemens made a lot of promises that they just couldn't seem to deliver. Early clients complained of huge delays, lower-quality code, frustrating updates. But now, providers say the latest upgrades are resolving these issues, and they see Siemens as a good, attentive partner as they develop the product."

While still far behind market leaders in Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) adoption, Soarian v.C6 enabled wider CPOE adoption for providers in 2010 than ever before, according to KLAS. For years, only three hospitals were live on Soarian CPOE. The number jumped to 10 in 2009 and 23 in 2010.

"Siemens's CPOE progress has definitely buoyed frustrated customers' perception of Soarian, though there is still work to be done," Hess said. "Of CPOE-live sites, only a few have achieved deep adoption, entering more than 85 percent of orders via CPOE."

The report also noted that, despite the leaps in provider satisfaction and clinical adoption, Soarian's overall sales have yet to pick up, hampered by a lingering negative perception and by key gaps in the solution's array of integrated offerings.

"The lack of an integrated ambulatory solution continues to deter some potential customers, and though Siemens has partnered with NextGen to fill the gap, providers see this as a short-term solution to the problem," Hess commented. "As for Soarian's image, its own customers say Siemens is moving past their initial shortcomings, but carrying that message outside the current customer base is more difficult."