Cardiology IT: Can Vendors Deliver on Shifting Sands? - Cover

Cardiology IT: Can Vendors Deliver on Shifting Sands?

In college I had to take organic chemistry to earn my Bachelor of Science degree. It was the toughest class of my college career. The entire semester, before I fully understood a concept, the next concept was being taught and I was being tested on it. I felt that I didn’t have a chance to catch my breath.

I think healthcare IT vendors and providers often feel that way, and cardiology IT is no exception. Before vendors fully address one need or set of regulatory measures, the next has already arrived. As shown in KLAS’ report entitled Cardiology 2013: Identifying Structures for Success, vendors still have much work to do around interoperability and usability. Just when some vendors may feel like they have a handle on providers’ needs, the goal post is moved. With meaningful use and accountable care looming, the next wave of needs is already here. Providers need vendors who can get patient data—and analytics on patient outcomes—into one easy-to-use database.

KLAS has been monitoring the cardiology IT space for the past six years, and we are seeing some promising trends. For instance, the reporting functionality for both cath and echo has improved in many cases, though there are a few vendors who still lag, such as GE and Agfa. Systems and modules, such as those for hemodynamics and EP, are becoming more fully developed and functional. KLAS’ cardiology data showed Merge as the market leader in overall satisfaction, and their score has climbed even higher in recent months.

Despite these positive developments, providers tell us that no vendor does everything they need at the level they expect. For instance, integration problems abound, and usability has not truly been addressed by most vendors. Reporting functionality is lacking for at least one module with every vendor. 

With the future of cardiology IT in mind, KLAS will be kicking off our 2014 cardiology IT study shortly. Your peers in healthcare would like to hear what you have to say about your cardiology IT vendors. You can share your experiences here.  If you have any questions about the 2013 study, or participating in 2014, feel free to contact our cardiology research director, Monique Rasband, at