Best of Breed? International Providers are Still Deciding

I attended a CIO conference last week in the UK, and one of the topics that was brought up by providers there was whether or not a best-of-breed approach can meet healthcare IT needs. Right now the country is divided, and it was interesting to hear both sides of the argument.

History can teach us something. Many U.S. providers might wonder why their colleagues across the pond would look at a best-of-breed approach when a common sentiment is that the best-of-breed approach has struggled to compete with an integrated approach in the U.S. The answer is simple: price. In a socialized economy, cost is a major factor, and most hospitals in the UK don’t have nearly the budget that those in the U.S. have. So in an effort to become “paperless,”UK hospitals look at cheaper, best-of-breed solutions to get them there a little at a time. This begs the question, Will people really save in the long run if they’re constantly maintaining disparate systems? Some providers say it would be better to bite the bulletup front and get an integrated solution at the get-go.

My colleague Jon Christensen wrote a blog two weeks ago about how InterSystems’TrakCare product is making some noise internationally. If the performance scores of the product in various regions are any indicator, it’s clear that a provider’s experience can differ drastically depending on the deployment model. For example, the Middle East and Scotland implemented TrakCare using two different deployment strategies, and the system’s performance in these two markets is separated by more than 20 points, with the Middle East in the lead. So what’s the difference? Providers in the Middle East opted for a fully deployed, integrated system, while the government in Scotland chose bits and pieces to implement over time. To be fair, the Scotland implementation is only a few years old, whereas facilities in the Middle East averaged at least five years live. Regardless, it seems that a fully deployed, integrated system increases clinical adoption and provides a better overall experience. And in speaking to Scottish customers, KLAS has found that many of them are already beginning to implement additional TrakCare pieces because they see the potential benefits of seamless integration.

InterSystems Global 2014: An Early Look at TrakCare around the World

To sound off with your own opinion on the best-of-breed approach, comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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