KLAS Rates Hospital EMRs’ Meaningful Use Capabilities

Posted on September 22, 2011 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

Wondering whether your hospital will meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements next year? Maybe your choice of vendor will play a role.

According to a recent study by health IT research firm KLAS, healthcare CIOs vary significantly in how confident they are that they’ll meet MU demands, and their confidence levels seem to vary greatly depending on which vendor they’ve chosen.

Overall, KLAS research concludes, hospital CIOs are fairly confident that they can take on MU. Seven percent or so are already ready to meet MU standards, and about three-quarters of respondents feel that they’re likely to be ready to rock by 2013. Less than 10 percent feel that meeting MU regs is a “long shot” or “probably won’t happen.”

On the other hand, user confidence differed quite a bit depending on which EMR they were using.

One EMR system that seems to have loyal fans is HMS, a long-time hospital IT vendor with a strong presence in financial systems. About 15 percent of HMS users reported that they would qualify for Stage 1 MU today, the highest percentage of the vendors included in the study. Roughly 60 percent reported that they were likely to be ready by 2013. Meanwhile, less than 10 percent felt that meeting MU standards were “a long shot” or “probably [wouldn’t] happen.”

Another EMR which seems to have a strong following is McKesson Paragon, the KLAS study suggests. While none of the McKesson users said they would qualify for MU incentives today, more than 90 percent of users said that they were likely to be ready by 2013. And only five percent felt the odds of making it were high.

Cerner, on the other hand, seems to have a few doubters on its hands. More than 20 percent of survey respondents said Stage 1 MU compliance was possible (rather than likely). That being said, 10 percent of users said they would qualify today.

Siemens MS4 got a mixed report; while no one felt they’d quality today, more than 70 percent felt they’d likely qualify in two years. Another 20-odd percent though they could possibly qualify by 2013.

Meanwhile, Meditech Magic(s) had the biggest corps of doubters, with about 10 percent saying MU Stage 1 compliance “probably won’t happen.”

Of course, knowing how confident hospitals are about MU compliance doesn’t necessarily tell you how good their EMR is. In fact, there’s plenty of reasons why a hospital might fail at MU without having any major EMR problems. But for what it’s worth, the KLAS overview does offer a look at how some of your peers are thinking. It’s worth a look.