Small hospitals shop for big hospital IT

By Bernie Monegain
10:00 AM

Cost and resource requirements dominated past purchasing decisions for community hospitals, but executives now consider physician adoption the No. 1 factor when purchasing a hospital information system, according to a new report from KLAS.

In Disruption in Community HIS Purchases: It's All About Physician Adoption, KLAS interviewed 64 community hospitals with fewer than 200 beds that were planning to purchase a health information system. The report found that, in light of new meaningful use requirements, many community hospital executives are now considering more complex – and often more costly – IT solutions, which many providers perceive as supporting greater clinician adoption.

"The ARRA is driving the emphasis on physician adoption," said Paul Pitcher, KLAS research director and author of the report. "Meaningful use requirements are forcing buyers to focus on this issue rather than cost and infrastructure, which were the much more significant criteria in the past."

Meditech still dominates provider mindshare for health information systems, with McKesson also gaining significant traction recently. Meditech continues to leverage its reputation as a low-cost, integrated solution, with 70 percent of providers including the vendor in their selection process. McKesson Paragon was the next most-considered system, with 48 percent of providers planning to include Paragon in their due diligence. However, the focus on physician adoption is also bringing a new group of vendors into purchasing discussions.

"Cerner, Eclipsys, Epic and Siemens Soarian are at the table more frequently due to a perceived higher potential for clinician adoption," Pitcher said. Of those vendors, Cerner was mentioned by 30 percent of respondents as a solution they would consider, followed by Eclipsys and Epic at 16 percent each, and then Siemens Soarian at 8 percent.

The consideration of these traditional large hospital solutions in community hospitals has also been spurred by the shrinking opportunity for new sales among large organizations. The KLAS report notes that, while 95 percent of hospitals with more than 200 beds have already chosen their clinical information system, many more new buying decisions are occurring among smaller organizations.

Other vendors highlighted in the KLAS report include CPSI, Healthland, HMS, Keane and QuadraMed.