Can You Hear Me Now?

The HIT world is moving at a ferocious pace with constant change, including Allscripts board battles, ICD-10 dates, McKesson’s Better Health 2020 announcement, MU checks, consolidation, investment firms buying up HIT companies, and payers that play both friend and foe.

Over the last few months, I have gone on a dizzying tour of many key HIT vendors, where I met a lot of people (most were vendor executives, but they’re people too). I found myself asking how big the differences between vendors are. One constant I seem to find amidst the sea of change is the people. And the biggest differentiator, I would say, is their ability to listen.

Some vendors use the whole one-mouth-two-ears theory better than others; they listen twice as much as they talk. How many times have you enjoyed the visit of one of your vendor executives where they clearly had an agenda? Their goal was to get the message out. How different is a visit where they come to listen to you instead of focusing on expounding to you?

With this in mind, how is it possible for a vendor to spend a day with KLAS and not ask, “What are our customers saying?” Instead of asking and listening, they spent time telling their story. I have a sense that your visits from this vendor may be similar. If the KLAS team notices, I’m sure your team does as well.

What about a vendor who says, “Don’t tell us about our competition’s weaknesses; tell us about our own weaknesses. To get better, we need more detail.” Does that sound like something a Best in KLAS vendor might say? It is.

How about a vendor that is known for not listening, but is changing drastically to use the two-ear theory more? One CIO I spoke with recently said of that vendor, “They are dead in the water.” But, if you haven’t looked at them recently, they aren’t what you may remember. Listening changes people, products, and companies.

How big are the differences between the people you meet? What are the people from your key vendors like? Are there any with two mouths and one ear? Or, do they listen more than they talk?

Any guesses who we met with?

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