KLAS releases list of 20 best software vendors for 2009

By Bernie Monegain
10:07 AM

Epic Systems is at the peak of the 20 best healthcare software vendors, as gauged by KLAS' annual survey of hospital CIOs and medical practice executives.

More than 25,000 people, representing more than 4,000 hospitals, completed the survey, according to the Orem, Utah-based research firm.

"The 2009 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services" report, released Tuesday, includes performance ratings for nearly 900 software products and service offerings. The top-rated companies in 34 key market categories – including electronic medical records, cardiology systems and application hosting – have earned the 2009 Best in KLAS distinction, signifying their leadership in meeting customer expectations.

Based on evaluations submitted by thousands of healthcare providers throughout the United States and Canada, KLAS rankings measure a vendor's performance in areas like product quality, implementation and service and support. A 'Best in KLAS' award is reserved for the top-rated companies in a select group of the largest market segments that have the most impact.

"The Best in KLAS distinction honors more than just a good product or service," said KLAS President Adam Gale. "It represents a commitment to meeting customer expectations in every phase of the buying process – from the sales presentation to implementation to ongoing service and support."

Ambulatory bar higher

Among the survey's surprises, according to Gale, is that customer satisfaction for ambulatory care EMRs dropped significantly. He attributes the drop to a maturation of the market.

"The growth that these vendors are experiencing – it creates some challenges in and of itself," he said.

Customers expect the products to be "quicker, better, easier to use (and) less expensive," he said. "They expect good support. The bar is continually being raised, and it's tough for these vendors to keep up. Customers are becoming more demanding.

Not just at the top

Epic was not just at the top, officials said, but getting better. According to the survey, the company is process-oriented, committed to the customer and a unique vendor in that they pick the kind of hospitals that would be a good match for them.

For  a list of the 2009 Best in KLAS vendors for software and professional services go to the next page.