Health care providers may be enticed by a single vendor’s ability to offer a complete, fully integrated IT system, but ultimately these systems may not offer the advantages doctors believe they will and may not exist in the first place.
Last month I reported on the myth of EHR integration. A group of health IT professionals agreed that even though most hospitals and health systems would prefer to deal with a single vendor for their EHR, lab system and practice management software, this may not be the best approach.
Now a new report from KLAS backs up that contention. After surveying more than 570 cardiologists, researchers found that physicians still want to deal with a single IT system that offers the “holy grail” of integration, functionality and comprehensiveness. However, the same respondents said they have been unable to identify such a system and are frustrated by currently available options.
“Most providers are anxious to be able to work with one vendor who has the needed modules and functional strength… [but] providers who wish to cover several modalities while going to a single vendor are left wanting more,” lead author Monique Rasband said in a statement.
The findings highlight the disconnect that persists between provider expectations and vendor capabilities. While a number of IT companies market themselves as offering complete systems that allow physicians to consolidate all their systems with a single vendor, evidence continues to suggest that this is not the case.
Decision-makers at hospitals and health systems would do well to understand that one vendor is unlikely to fully match their needs. This may save the provider from going through a lengthy, expensive implementation phase, only to find out their shiny new IT system doesn’t actually satisfy all their needs.
The health IT marketplace is awfully crowded right now, with many vendors competing for their cut of the incentive funding. But no one is served when companies overpromise. At the same time, it is the responsibility of physicians to assess their technology needs and determine on their own which vendor or vendors are capable of satisfying these needs, rather than relying on the technology provider to tell them what they need.