- A new KLAS report focused on which health IT companies best help users adapt to each care setting found Cerner and MEDITECH to be leading the way in developing solutions across the care continuum.
However, most large health systems still choose Epic to provide their ambulatory and acute care EHR over all other enterprise vendors.
“Health systems frequently weigh the revenue cycle as part of this decision, often tipping things strongly in Epic’s favor,” noted researchers.
While large health systems most frequently choose Epic for its usability and departmental functionality, Cerner is a close second for its comprehensive functionality.
Meanwhile, researchers found smaller enterprise solutions including Allscripts and MEDITECH have been chosen infrequently by large health systems. Allscripts’ smaller breath of functionality has inhibited its popularity, while MEDITECH’s inability to provide an integrated ambulatory platform in previous years has kept large health systems from choosing the vendor.
In addition to acute and ambulatory care, researchers also surveyed providers in home healthcare, long-term care (LTC), behavioral health, and urgent care to gain insight into how health IT companies perform across the care continuum.
“For healthcare to make the shift to value-based care, the care continuum will have to change from a series of disconnected siloes to a connected ecosystem,” stated KLAS researchers.
Hospital leadership and health IT experts have repeatedly echoed this sentiment as the industry makes the shift to value-based care.
UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Cerner acquired Leidos.
Cerner and MEDITECH were named as the first to market to offer solutions across the care continuum. Cerner has leveraged its acquisitions to develop integrated solutions for long-term care (LTC) and behavioral health. While Cerner’s offerings in these care settings are satisfactory, its homecare users have had overwhelmingly negative experiences with Cerner’s solution since it is a standalone offering and not integrated with Cerner Millennium.
Homecare users generally disapprove of enterprise solutions across the board.
“Enterprise solutions offer an inferior experience or have been slow in coming: Cerner’s solution is not on the Millennium platform and has major gaps and poor support,” stated researchers. “Epic’s solution gets a ratings boost for its integration but continues to underperform overall, with little recent development.”
MEDITECH has developed solutions across the care continuum through both acquisitions and the development of its own solutions. The health IT company acquired its ambulatory and homecare platforms, but developed LTC and behavioral health solutions internally.
“They also have solutions for all settings and have recently reinvested in the continuum by releasing integrated ambulatory and homecare modules,” wrote researchers. “Customer adoption of behavioral health and LTC is light.”
Though Epic has faltered at offering high-performing solutions in all care settings in the past, the EHR giant is presently attempting to make up for lost time.
“Epic is getting serious after underperforming in homecare for over 10 years,” stated KLAS researchers. “Their LTC solution now has light adoption, and their dedicated behavioral health module will be released in 2018.”
Most other enterprise vendors have claimed their stake in all care settings through acquisitions, but Allscripts primarily leveraged partnerships to make technology available to its users.
“Allscripts has always claimed to be the anti-monolithic EMR, so it is harder to measure what benefit they provide across the continuum,” researchers stated. “Beyond acute and ambulatory care, Allscripts checks other boxes through an ownership stake in Netsmart, which operates independently.”
Through Netsmart, Allscripts has gained a substantial presence in behavioral health. However, while Netsmart has significant marketshare across all post-acute care and behavioral health settings, it has not integrated its solutions.
Researchers also noted Allscripts’ acquisition of McKesson’s Paragon EHR will give the vendor a new inpatient offering.
Ultimately, researchers found Cerner and MEDITECH to be the top two enterprise vendors most invested in developing solutions that span the continuum of care. According to KLAS, Cerner meets most needs across most settings – excepting homecare – and gets extra points for offering both an integrated behavioral health option and a separate, non-integrated behavioral health solution for community-based private practices.
MEDITECH’s newly-updated integrated modules for ambulatory care and homecare demonstrate its own dedication to addressing all provider needs across the care continuum. Additionally, early feedback from users about its new homecare module is much more promising than provider responses to Cerner’s lackluster home health offering.
While Epic falls behind Cerner and MEDITECH in offering adequate solutions that span care settings, the health IT company has been more reactive to customer’s demands lately.
“Epic’s only setting-specific module with significant adoption outside of acute and ambulatory care is homecare, which customers say is underwhelming,” noted researchers.
Moving forward, enterprise vendors will need to step up their game to meet the more specific needs of home health and LTC providers. Until then, single-setting solutions will continue to dominate these smaller markets.