KLAS’ Initial Look at EMR Consulting Services in Canada - Cover

KLAS’ Initial Look at EMR Consulting Services in Canada

In January, we published our Canada EMR Consulting Services report, which is our first-ever look at various EMR consulting services in Canada. Some of the biggest questions we wanted to answer for Canadian healthcare organizations were what services different firms provide and how well those firms engage with clients across those services. After looking at six different firms and their services—which span pre-implementation planning and assessment, implementation services, and post-implementation clinical optimization—we came across some interesting findings.

EMR Purchasing Activity Is Active in Canada

Over the last several years, there has been very steady EMR purchasing activity in Canada, both among organizations implementing their first EMR and among organizations that are migrating from legacy solutions to new go-forward solutions. MEDITECH and Epic in particular have seen a lot of energy, and Nova Scotia recently announced they will be implementing Cerner’s EMR. Additionally, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador are in the process of provincial EMR selections.

Getting the implementation right is crucial to an organization’s ongoing success with their EMR. Because of this, many organizations, especially larger regional entities, choose to partner with a consulting firm to guide them through the process. We at KLAS wanted to understand how successfully consulting firms are helping clients plan for and implement these products, and this report will hopefully provide Canadian organizations with some very needed information as EMR purchasing activity continues over the next few years.

Firms That Offer a Broader Set of Services versus a Narrower Set of Services

We first wanted to understand the activity of firms offering EMR consulting services in Canada—both in terms of the number of engagements they’ve been a part of over the last two years and the breadth of work provided in those engagements. Through our validations, we found that Deloitte and Healthtech have had the most activity and done some of the broadest EMR consulting work in Canada. Tegria has also provided a broad range of services, though they have had fewer engagements overall. Impact Advisors, Medix, and Tectonic all had fewer engagements and provided a narrower set of services (see chart below).

When we compared these firms, we realized that almost every engagement that we validated ended successfully. For some clients, there were bumps during different parts of the process, but for the most part, all the firms did a good job of driving successful implementations and providing helpful advisory services. That was exciting to see.

Firms providing broader versus narrower EMR consulting services were highlighted by clients for different reasons. Those providing broader services faced higher client expectations, and though there were some misses, these firms were still highlighted for bringing in strong resources and expertise that ultimately resulted in successful engagements. The firms providing narrower services more consistently exceeded expectations among their limited number of validated engagements. It was interesting to differentiate the two groups of firms by the services they offered.

validated emr consulting services and respondent size

Surprises in the Data

We were surprised to see some relatively low overall performance scores among the firms operating in Canada compared to the benchmarks in US services that KLAS measures. The Canadian respondents—especially those spanning large geographic regions—have unique needs that weren’t always met consistently by the firms in the report. Throughout the report, we highlight where some firms hit bumps and where they excelled, as well as which firms were able to really understand the Canadian market.

In upcoming reports, we would like to drill down deeper into firm performance and examine their consistency across engagements. All the firms we looked at are capable of delivering an A+ experience, but some of them have not done that consistently among the clients we interviewed, and we will continue to explore the reasons why.

Looking to the Future

We’ve already mentioned some of the things we hope to validate in future reports, but one of the bigger things we would like to validate is the experience of Canadian organizations doing Cerner projects with a services firm. Cerner has been picking up some wins internationally (including the Nova Scotia deal mentioned above), and those Cerner organizations will be going through the implementation process soon. In this report, we didn’t validate any consulting engagements for Cerner, so in the future, it will be exciting to learn more about the consulting firms that focus on Cerner and see how well they perform among clients.

This report gives a high-level overview of the services different firms are providing in Canada. In the future, we want to increase the granularity of our research and focus on some of the individual pieces of the EMR services life cycle to provide deeper insights into the market. This report is a launching pad for future reports as KLAS examines consulting services in other regions outside the US.

Be sure to read our Canada EMR Consulting Services report on the KLAS website.

Photo credit: lenets_tan, Adobe Stock