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Clinical Surveillance 2018
Alerts Are Leading to Better Outcomes

author - Alex McIntosh
Alex McIntosh
November 29, 2018 | Read Time: 3  minutes

Clinical surveillance tools hold the promise of giving caregivers clinically actionable insights that decrease mortality, reduce readmissions, and improve overall patient outcomes, and clinicians expect these alerts to be embedded directly within their workflow. However, KLAS found it difficult to validate some vendors’ claims of having extensive live customers—at the time of this research, only Cerner and Epic have seen significant adoption of their surveillance tools. What impacts do clinical surveillance tools have on patient care and how can vendors better meet customers’ clinical surveillance needs?

After Initial Setup Troubles, Customers Report Trust in Epic

Regardless of which solution they use, nearly all respondents trust the alerts they receive and feel the alerts contribute to improved patient outcomes. Though a lack of vendor guidance and best practices make Epic’s alerts some of the hardest to set up, once operational, users report a high level of trust and a wider variety of use cases than any other customer base in this report. The limited number of interviewed customers using Bernoulli report some difficulties making the solution operational but also report high trust in the accuracy of the alerts, and this high trust encourages immediate follow-up. While most respondents using Stanson Health (limited responses) or Cerner say that they trust the alerts, a handful are frustrated with the number and frequency of alerts and the lack of customization options.

difficulty of setup vs level of trust

Better Patient Interventions with Cerner, Epic, Stanson Health, and Bernoulli

Regardless of vendor, nearly all respondents feel their solution contributes to better patient interventions. Though Epic’s alerts are seen as the most difficult to make operational, more than 70% of interviewed Epic customers feel the alerts are very helpful in driving patient interventions across many use cases and report shorter patient stays, reduced readmissions, and fewer adverse events. Though not to the same extent as Epic customers, Cerner customers are also nearly unanimous in saying that the solution drives interventions, citing its ability to identify patients at risk for sepsis at the time when clinical intervention would be most effective. Though their use is largely limited to ventilator alerts, all within the small sample of Bernoulli customers feel their solution has a positive effect on patients by sending caregivers alerts produced by ventilators.

how helpful are solutions at driving patient interventions

Cerner and Epic Both Broadly Adopted, but Differences in Effectiveness Exist

Cerner and Epic are the only vendors that KLAS validated as having extensive adoption of their clinical surveillance capabilities. However, in most metrics, customers of these two vendors are less satisfied than customers of the other charted vendors in this report. Cerner customers feel the system needs to fit better within physician workflows, the reporting is underdeveloped, and the solution has fewer customization options than needed; these functionality misses often contribute to a feeling that the tool produces fewer tangible outcomes than desired.

product performance comparison

Epic does not have a dedicated clinical surveillance modality, but customers have adapted built-in EMR functionality to provide many of the same features found in standalone solutions and to fill a wide variety of surveillance needs. Of the 17 unique Epic organizations interviewed, nearly all are highly satisfied with the solution as a whole; only 3 report any level of dissatisfaction. Overall, Epic customers are pleased with the platform’s integration, consistent upgrades, ease of use (once set up), and alerting flexibility and with the results they have achieved across many use cases.

Providers Use Clinical Surveillance Technology Sparingly

Sepsis is, by far, the most common and most developed use case for clinical surveillance solutions today. Many interviewed organizations are still in the process of setting up, testing, and figuring out how to use their solution for a variety of other use cases.

use cases
data sources contributing to clinical notifications
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.