How Long Is the Population Health Train?

Why do trains fill so many of us with wonder? I grew up a short walk from some railroad tracks, and one of the most exciting things I did as a child was sit and watch these massive trains scream down the track. I enjoyed counting the cars in each train, and I always hoped that the current train would go down as the longest train I had ever seen.

I quickly realized that all trains sound exactly the same regardless of how long they are. In fact, it was impossible for me to guess how many railroad cars were on the train just by listening. This activity of counting train cars reminds me of the population health vendor market.

I’ve had the opportunity recently to visit with dozens of population health vendors and learn about their strategies. The interesting thing about these visits is that although these vendors differ drastically from one another, their solutions often look very similar and their presentations sound almost identical. Like railroad cars, many of them sound exactly the same, and it takes a lot of work to truly understand where each solution begins and ends.

Similar to guessing the length of a train, it’s nearly impossible to understand how comprehensive a solution is just by seeing a demo or reading product literature. Our goal at KLAS is to do this type of in-depth research for you and to publish reports that help providers differentiate the solutions. So in the coming months, look for our report on population health vendor performance.

In the meantime, you can see which vendors are getting mentioned most often by looking at our recently published Population Health 2014 Perception report

(Oh, and by the way, if you see a train with more than 216 railcars, you’ve successfully beaten my record!)

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