Is the Critical Access Market Finally Getting Attention? - Cover

Is the Critical Access Market Finally Getting Attention?

I love summer and all the activities one can enjoy during this season. I recently got back from a wonderful family reunion in the gorgeous Black Hills area. It is always fun to catch up with all the family members and see how the kids have grown. Work, unavoidably, is a big topic. Two of my aunts work as head nurses at rural community hospitals, one on the West Coast and the other in the Midwest. Interestingly, both of them voluntarily brought up the common pain of switching and upgrading their EHR systems.

Many of their comments echoed what I hear from smaller organizations over and over again: how cost is a main prohibitive factor for them to get the system they really want, how shell-shocked the staff are during and after the implementation, and how the integration bandwagon is forcing them to use less functional modules in lieu of the best-of-breed systems that they loved. However, they also stated that they believed the move was a necessary evil.

In a recent KLAS report, Community CIS Market Share, it was discovered that not one vendor has been able to completely fulfill providers’ needs. In fact, almost one in three new HIS clients felt they had made the wrong decision and reported that they would not buy their product again. That being said, there are some new entrants in the market space that have been receiving a considerable amount of attention, one of those being Cerner CommunityWorks.

KLAS recently took a deep look at Cerner CommunityWorks because of the significant market energy around its unique model of an integrated, hosted solution in conjunction with requisite Application Management Services (AMS). Being a newer kid on the block in the community world, Cerner CommunityWorks has its challenges, but this offering does fulfill multiple requirements on the CAH providers' wish list, especially around meaningful use and clinical adoption.

Can Cerner be a white knight for this market? Will more acute care vendors follow? We shall see.