Workflow hurdles, reporting challenges are slowing cardiac IT consolidation

New KLAS report looks at the capabilities of cardiovascular technology from Change, Merge, Epic, INFINITT and others.
By Mike Miliard
03:08 PM

Hospitals and health systems want to consolidate their various cardiology IT solutions, according to a new report from KLAS, but challenges related to clinician workflow and the ability to consolidate structured reporting with a single vendor have hindered such initiatives.

Posing a particular challenge is invasive treatment such as cardiac catheterization, and the new study  from examines how various vendors are supporting cath physician workflow and structured reporting.

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Thanks to the complexity of cath procedures, "adoption of structured reporting is low for cath compared to other cardiology areas," according to the report. "Customization and training are two factors that can impact adoption of cath structured reporting."

KLAS found that customers of Change Healthcare and Merge report doing best with structured reporting, but also seek more streamlined workflow improvements. Change's clients like its physician training and willingness to customize the technology. Merge customers say the workflow has improved, but some shared concerns about the manual entry necessitated for cath templates

Limited feedback from other customers, meanwhile, suggested that "Epic system provides very limited functionality for cath templates, and customers feel what success they have achieved has been due mostly to their own efforts." And a small sample of INFINITT are doing cath structured reporting and enjoy efficient physician workflows.

But "many vendors struggle to provide frontline support with the knowledge level needed to help customers succeed with structured reporting," said KLAS researchers.

"Merge and INFINITT customers report having access to responsive personnel who can help them adjust the structured reporting. Merge customers have reported some transition challenges following the acquisition by IBM. Philips customers also receive responsive support but must jump through hoops to access the right expertise."

Support from Siemens, meanwhile, "varies from customer to customer, and improvements to the structured reporting take longer than hoped. Epic customers feel Epic is a partner but acknowledge that Epic has struggled to bring strong cardiology expertise to structured reporting."

Change Healthcare clients "also note gaps in their vendor’s knowledge base," according to the report. "Both Fujifilm and LUMEDX customers report problems getting to the people with expertise to make changes. This is a recent development for LUMEDX customers, who previously received more responsive support."

KLAS says that integration between the hemodynamics and cardiology solutions is essential to getting the correct data gets into structured reporting and ensuring that clinician workflow is as smooth as possible.

Strong integration is a major selling point for Merge’s hemodynamics customers, who also tout the company's development of more customizable and automated reports, according to the report, which also notes that GE Healthcare and Philips "both offer stable, long-standing hemodynamics solutions; however, lack of development has been a recurring concern for customers looking for improved flexibility."

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