A complete, truly integrated cardiovascular information system (CVIS) does not exist today, based on the opinion of most healthcare providers, according to a new report by healthcare market research firm KLAS.
KLAS said it examined the fragmented market for cardiology systems. Among the findings, the report stated that healthcare providers are still seeking a total cardiology solution that can efficiently distribute images, offer intuitive physician reporting tools and handle operational tasks throughout the cardiology department.
Some vendors, such as GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare, come close to the vision of a total solution in terms of the functionality of the modules they offer, but integration of those modules is lacking, based on the respondents.
KLAS found that other vendors, such as Lumedx and McKesson, have integrated solutions, but lack proven adoption of some key functional areas to be called a complete CVIS. Among the cardiology IT vendors rated in the KLAS report, Digisonics was ranked number one with an overall performance score of 78.8 out of 100. ScImage (76.9) and Emageon (76.8) were ranked second and third, respectively.
“Cardiology IT is a market with no clear winner, and no vendor is safe from replacement,” said author Ben Brown, director of imaging informatics research for KLAS. “Unlike the market for clinical systems, where the decision to pursue a single-vendor strategy is common, cardiology vendors should expect to see a number of clients come and go over the next two years as the market continues to experience a significant amount of churn.”
The report identified reasons for the high rate of replacement among cardiology solutions, including physician frustration, rapidly advancing technology and the need to unify an organization’s imaging and IT infrastructure, generally as part of an enterprise imaging strategy. A steady stream of acquisitions in the space–such as Amicas’ acquisition of Emageon and the recent purchase of ProSolv by Fujifilm–has also been a factor as product lines are consolidated.
KLAS found that the most satisfied CVIS customers were those with dedicated, internal cardiology IT support resources. Maintaining specialized onsite support aids in both training and business continuity, which contribute to physician satisfaction and adoption.
In general, CVIS technologies are years behind the sophistication and proliferation of RIS and PACS software, which are generally supported by specialized personnel like a PACS administrator, according to the respondents. The cardiology departments that have begun to develop equivalent resources–either through training existing staff or shared support with other departments-have tended to be happier about their deployments.
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