EHR vendors outpace traditional outsourcers in customer satisfaction, Black Book finds

While 91 percent of hospitals reported strong returns from outsourcing IT, the new research also found that hospital CIO’s satisfaction rates have slipped since last year.
By Tom Sullivan
11:43 AM
Black Book outsourcing report

While hospital CIOs have achieved solid returns on investments in outsourcing complex IT, they are also less satisfied with the vendors hosting those technology services, according to Black Book’s new outsourcing report. 

“The biggest surprise is that the EHR companies managed service divisions are scoring better than the standalone outsourcers,” said Doug Brown, managing partner at Black Book. “Cerner, Meditech, McKesson and Allscripts all ranked above 9.0 on a 10.0 scale.”

When it comes to ROI, among the 1,587 people Black Book polled — which includes 807 CIOs and IT leaders as well as 89 CFOs and finance executives — 91 percent of hospitals reported that they either already achieved a return or are within six months of doing so.

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Eighty-four percent said that outsourcing IT reduces costs and increases efficiencies in ways that are transformative to their business, whether that is EHRs or other mission-critical applications, and 57 percent indicated that they do not view maintaining technology infrastructure as something they must do in-house.

Yet only seven of the 68 qualifying outsourcing vendors Black Book asked about are currently exceeding expectations and, what’s more, 39 percent of respondents answered that their outsourcing experience fell below expectations.

Black Book noted that 77 percent of the dissatisfaction came from working with vendors that bring limited healthcare experience to the table.

[Also: Healthcare's digital divide is getting bigger and other bad news from Black Book]

Do falling satisfaction rates suggest hospitals will outsource less in the future despite the earned ROI?

No. The research found that 58 percent of participants expect it to continue at current levels through 2019 — and 34 percent are planning to outsource more in that same time.

“Fifty-eight percent of healthcare organizations responding said that they expect their usage of IT outsourcing will continue at current levels through 2019, and 34 percent anticipate an increase in IT outsourcing over the next two years,” the firm added. 

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