Introducing Landmark Insights - Cover

Introducing Landmark Insights

Over the last 25 years, KLAS has interviewed thousands of providers to get their perspectives on how well their IT vendors meet their expectations. This is the core of what KLAS does, and it’s a big part of our mission to improve the world’s healthcare.

At the same time, as we have looked at healthcare data over the years, KLAS has seen the massive impact implementations have on the overall experience of provider customers. Sadly, 49% of all implementations, almost half, are considered problematic and score a letter grade of C or lower. In addition, when we analyzed our data to see whether provider customers’ experiences improved after their implementation, 75% of the time their overall scores of the technology didn’t improve in later years. The taste left in a provider's mouth from a bad implementation can linger for a long time, and that impacts everyone involved, from the provider and patient to the vendor.

Until recently, this information was only helpful to vendors and providers in a retroactive sense. Vendors could take this feedback to improve their processes going forward, but the damage was already done with their failed implementations. For this reason, we wanted to do more at KLAS to proactively help in a way that still fit who we are as a company. Our new service, Landmark Insights, is KLAS’ answer to providing key stakeholders with much-needed visibility into implementation processes.

Digging Into Why Implementations Fail

introducing landmark insights lack of implementation visibility chartIn our research, KLAS found that a lack of visibility and alignment is a big part of the problem when it comes to poor implementations. Landmark Insights focuses on the soft issues around governance, accountability, change management, and cross-team collaboration and communication. Please note that this doesn't mean that there are no technical issues associated with poor implementations. However, these soft issues are the problems that KLAS believes we can help with most.

Leaders at healthcare organizations sometimes tell us that they know there are issues with their implementations that their people are not telling them about. One common reason for this is that people assume that someone else will fix an issue later in the next phase of the implementation. So, the proverbial “can” just keeps getting kicked down the road until it becomes a more expensive and time-consuming fix.

The Solution: Do Things Right the First Time

In Jeff Sutherland’s book, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, he talks about how a company called Palm, which created some of the first personal digital assistants, automatically tracked their coding process in detail, including their bug and testing processes. Later, they analyzed the difference between a developer fixing a bug immediately versus fixing it a few weeks later. What they found was striking. It took 24 times longer to fix the bug later. In a similar way, KLAS believes that if implementation stakeholders can catch problems early enough, they can fix them before those problems become too cumbersome.

But you can’t fix problems that you don’t see, and that is precisely where KLAS can help the most. Our process is as follows:

  1. KLAS interviews several people from all sides of the implementation: the provider team, the vendor team, and in the case of a third-party consultant, the third-party implementation firm.
  2. Next, we take that feedback and analyze it to understand the story. We ask the following questions: One, what do people agree is going well that needs to continue? Two, what do people agree isn’t going well? And finally, we see where there is disagreement around what's going well and what is a problem.
  3. KLAS provides feedback and analysis to the entire group to facilitate communication and identify key issues that need to be resolved. Once the problems have been identified, KLAS works with the provider organization, vendor team, and the implementation partner to create action plans to fix the problems together.
  4. KLAS repeats this interview and analysis process every few months to follow up, see what has changed, and find any additional issues.

The point behind the whole process is to create transparency and alignment between all of the involved parties. We know that to understand the true state of an implementation, people need to see where they aren't aligned, where potential problems exist, and the reasons behind those problems so they can do things right the first time, course correct, and resolve issues more immediately, saving everyone valuable time and resources.

Creating Success

There's a distinct difference between going live on a system, which you could call being successful, and the kind of success where you achieve your planned objectives and drive your desired outcomes.

There are providers and vendors out there who have performed successful implementations. In fact, we’ve seen that providing a great implementation experience is among the highest correlators with being Best in KLAS for vendors. Across some of our larger market segments, 81% of the Best in KLAS vendors are also the best at implementing their solutions. One of the reasons why those vendors are Best in KLAS is precisely because effective implementations are difficult. But these vendors show that successful implementations can be done.

KLAS is motivated to help all sides of an implementation succeed, regardless of the solution being implemented. That said, we know that working with KLAS is not the only way you can improve. If a vendor has a solid implementation plan to help their customers, we applaud them. Putting effort into implementation is one of the most valuable investments a vendor can make in the success of their customers.

KLAS’ Landmark Insights service offers one more option, a data-backed opportunity to help make any implementation team successful. Like the Arch Collaborative, Landmark Insights is all about helping implementation partners measure where they’re at, come up with action plans, and then measure their progress in a very positive way. As we go, we want to spotlight those who are making an impact because improving implementations makes all involved parties better in the long run.

If you’re about to start an implementation journey or you’re in the middle of one now, please reach out to the KLAS team at to see how we can help.

Image credit: Chaay_tee, Adobe Stock