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The Current Landscape of Secure Communication - Cover

The Current Landscape of Secure Communication

Health systems originally looked at the secure communication market as an avenue to stem the tide of unsecured texts with PHI.

As the consumer market for communication got increasingly sophisticated, it became unreasonable to expect clinicians and other hospitals staff handling PHI to remain locked into old tech.

To combat this, providers initially sought out vendors who could supplant unsecure texting with a HIPAA compliant platform.

Now, the secure communications market is rapidly evolving. Provider expectations for their vendors have expanded beyond simple secure messaging. As we have seen in other best-of-breed markets across healthcare, it’s typically the larger health systems that first expand the scope of a technology.

Organizations – particularly in the acute care space – by and large want to deploy broad communication platforms. Meanwhile, ambulatory organizations are still mainly focused on HIPAA-compliant messaging.

Retention vs Consideration

KLAS recently published a Decision Insights report on this market. Decision Insights reports mix performance feedback on vendors with purchasing decision research in a given segment.

By combining these two datasets, we can readily identify what factors most heavily influence buying decisions and what traits are most likely to produce long-term, successful provider-vendor partnerships.

The above chart maps the secure communication landscape on buying considerations and retention. Epic, Voalte, TigerConnect, Vocera and Lua (a largely post-acute focused vendor) lead the market in terms of both market-presence (consideration during buying decisions) and customer loyalty. They also maintain high overall satisfaction from their customers according to recent performance scores.

It’s unsurprising to see both Epic and Cerner maintaining high consideration and retention, as the ubiquity of enterprise solutions continues to put pressure on best-of-breed markets across healthcare. However, secure communication as a market still has a deep bench of potential solutions.

And, with the market still in flux from strict messaging to full platform-based solutions, I don’t think we’ll see a drastically consolidated vendor landscape for the near future. In the meantime, providers will need to find vendors outside their EHR if they want to achieve their secure communication goals.

For the time being, it seems functionality is the leading factor in determining purchasing decisions for acute care customers. Cost is the second highest factor for providers making communication decisions. In fact, cost drives much of Epic’s Secure Chat success, given that their tool is included in the price of their EHR.

Ultimately, providers will have to balance functionality, cost, organizational goals and the synergies that these secure communications vendors have with their existing IT landscape. Our hope in publishing Decision Insights reports is to give provides the opportunity to view their buy decisions through the lens of their peers’ experiences.