Which Technical Services Vendor Should You Choose?

Amongst the turmoil that is COVID-19, many healthcare providers have stopped engaging with most of their prospective vendor solutions and services so that they can focus on caring for patients. But there are some prospective projects that aren’t being delayed and may even have increased in priority. Among them is the technical services industry. Consolidation efforts and the technical services necessary to enact those efforts continue to be in demand.

What Technical Services Are

Technical services refer to project-based implementation and management of infrastructure and applications. Projects are time bound and in pursuit of a defined goal. Although clinical, financial, or management skills can be part of a technical service project, they are not necessarily required.

Technical services include the following and more:

  • Data migration and conversion
  • Interfacing/integration work
  • System design/building and testing
  • Database development
  • Report writing

Why Providers Need Technical Services

In recent years, many health systems have been involved in mergers and acquisitions. Standardizing applications across an organization is a key priority in order to leverage investment in technology. These organizations are looking to move acquired hospitals and clinics onto their go-forward applications and retire disparate legacy systems.

The technical work required in these efforts can put strain on IT departments. IT resources at large organizations are challenged with producing high-value innovations on a tight timeline. Smaller health systems lack the manpower and expertise needed to focus on technical tasks. Especially with the recent efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, technical service firms that provide quality resources with relevant experience could be the right solution for these organizations’ technical needs.

How KLAS Can Help

Recently, KLAS published its first ever Technical Services Report. We have been measuring the technical services industry for more than a decade, but until now, we have never zeroed in on the industry for a single report. This year, we realized just how valuable such a report could be.

Our report offers answers to questions like the following:

  • Which firms offer a wide variety of technical services?
  • Which firms have deeper, narrower expertise?
  • What types of services are offered by the firms?
  • Which firms are in high demand, and what kind of organizations are using them?
  • Which firms can deliver high satisfaction?

Here is a sneak peak of some of our data:

breadth of firms

This graph analyzes the breadth in the type of services offered compared to the breadth of types of platforms firms have experience with. It is important to understand that this graph is not a measurement of which firms are good or bad. For example, J2 Interactive provides a wide breadth of services with most of them on a single platform (InterSystems), while Galen Healthcare offers a wide variety of technical services across a broad range of technical platforms.

A Word of Advice

Most of the firms that we measure in our report have a high satisfaction rating, but providers should be considering a number of factors. Prospective customers should be asking about a vendor’s angle of expertise. What experience does the vendor have with certain platforms? Do they have a history with an organization that is similar to the prospective customer? And most importantly, can they do the specific type of work that the client is looking for?

This report also dives deep into the key drivers of a successful project. This can help clients hold their selected firm to those high standards as well as help consulting firms understand what their clients may be looking for. For vendors, the report may offer insights on what aspects of a product are important to providers and drive their satisfaction.

More to Come

Keep in mind that this report is not necessarily comprehensive. In order to get needed information out to the market quickly, we published our analysis on data we are currently collecting on known firms. We are now increasing our discovery efforts to include a more comprehensive list of firms and their performance in a follow-up study.

What this report does offer are the patterns we have found from our current data that will help customers make better buying decisions and help vendors hone their craft. In the near future, our follow up study will take a broader, more comprehensive look at the technical services industry. We will bring in new research on other vendors and analyze that data as a whole. Stay tuned.


     Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, Bojan