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Implementation Leadership 2020 Implementation Leadership 2020
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Implementation Leadership 2020
Which Firms Consistently Help Clients Hit the Ground Running?

author - Kaleb Harris
Kaleb Harris
author - Jennifer Hickenlooper
Jennifer Hickenlooper
October 13, 2020 | Read Time: 8  minutes

When healthcare organizations implement new IT solutions or upgrade existing ones, they want implementation partners who can help them successfully navigate the change and hit the ground running. To find out which services firms are most consistent in delivering implementation success, KLAS interviewed organizations that have recently used a firm for implementation leadership (i.e., consultants and project leadership were provided, either overall or at the project management level). Their insights can help your organization decide which implementation partner is right for you.

Firm Landscape 

Combining feedback from both small and large implementation engagements, the table below gives a bird’s-eye view of the firms that offer implementation leadership services, highlighting which software vendors the firms have implemented for interviewed clients, the size and length of these projects, and client ratings of the firms’ overall performance. Broken out by the software vendor implemented, the following pages delve deeper into specific performance metrics and explore which firms are the best option for Cerner, Epic, and MEDITECH customers. (Click the links to go directly to your software vendor’s page.) Due to the scarcity of customer feedback, there is not a page dedicated to Allscripts implementations. See chart below for insights on which firms have validated Allscripts experience.

firm landscape
cerner tab

Strategic Expertise from S&P Consultants Drives Positive Outcomes for Cerner Implementations

All interviewed clients of Cerner-focused S&P Consultants report high satisfaction. Clients praise the firm’s expertise, saying their consultants are true experts capable of successfully guiding an implementation and helping clients strategize and design workflows. The firm is noted for their honesty and integrity, and clients report that their engagements achieved the desired outcomes, were completed on time, and were worth the investment. Many validated engagements included implementation of Cerner’s revenue cycle solution.

strategic expertise vs drives tangible outcomes

Partnership from S&P Consultants and Cumberland Results in Smooth Implementations

S&P Consultants and broad firm Cumberland (who implements a variety of software solutions but was validated in this research primarily for Cerner) are both viewed by clients as strong partners. Cumberland clients say their consultants feel like part of the team, and multiple clients describe their project managers as invaluable, reporting that they keep projects on track and are helpful problem solvers. Clients of ettain health (formerly Leidos Health)—another broad firm validated in this research mostly for Cerner projects—describe their consultants as team players who are knowledgeable and skilled at transferring their knowledge to internal resources. Clients of both Cumberland and ettain health note that on the rare occasion a resource isn’t a good fit, their firm quickly provides a replacement.

strength of partnership and would you buy again

Changes from Cerner Having Positive Impact on Early Adopters; Some Issues Still Linger

Looking to provide better training and value to clients, Cerner has recently made some changes to their implementation process, and early feedback from implementation services clients is positive. The Cerner sample for this report includes six organizations that utilized Cerner’s new approach for a large implementation project (i.e., eight or more consultants), and on average, these clients rate Cerner’s overall performance 20% higher than other clients do. Organizations who utilized the new approach were more satisfied with their consultants’ leadership capabilities, and a couple report that Cerner exceeded their expectations. The sample size of small projects is not yet large enough for feedback to be reported. Regardless of project size or whether the old or new implementation approach was used, Cerner clients report some common issues, including inexperienced resources, expensive pricing, and a tendency of Cerner to nickel-and-dime.

customer experience pillars cerner implementation services clients
epic tab

Most Firms a Safe Bet for Epic; Accenture and Deloitte Less Consistent but Take on Some of the Most Complex Engagements

customer experience pillarsEpic users have numerous implementation partners to choose from, the majority of which consistently deliver well. Cross-industry firms Accenture and Deloitte are engaged for some of the largest, most complex projects. Possessing both breadth and depth of expertise, both firms are praised for strategic guidance. However, project complexity can lead to inconsistent delivery, and clients of both firms report missed expectations. Some Accenture clients’ resources lacked needed experience or did not fit the clients’ culture. Some Deloitte clients feel the firm’s expertise leads to a lack of flexibility in accommodating unique needs; others report missed timelines. Both client bases view their firm as significantly more expensive than other options. Firms validated as more consistently satisfying clients with large, complex projects include Impact Advisors, Nordic, and Optimum Healthcare IT. With extensive implementation experience across multiple software vendors, Impact Advisors is viewed as following through on their promises and providing strong strategic guidance.

High-performing firms validated for supplying more supportive, lower-level leadership include CSI Healthcare IT, Galen Healthcare, HCTec, Oxford Global Resources, and Prominence.

100% of Galen, Oxford, Prominence, and Chartis Clients Say Their Firm Exceeded Expectations

exceeds expectations A broad firm with experience implementing multiple software vendors, Galen Healthcare provides high-quality resources able to resolve issues, share best practices, and speak to both technical and clinical aspects of an implementation. While clients view Galen as a partner, they note that the firm could provide more strategic guidance. Oxford Global Resources and Prominence typically provide consultants to augment a project’s management and leadership personnel, and both excel at exceeding expectations. Oxford Global Resources’ consultants are described as professional and as having the right skills for the job. A few clients even say Oxford came in and got another firm’s floundering project back on track. Prominence clients feel the firm does well at matching resources to client needs and describe the firm’s executives as involved and easy to connect with. Clients of Epic-focused Chartis Group view the firm as a strategic partner who exceeds expectations, brings a high level of experience and expertise, and keeps projects on track. While a couple of respondents describe the firm as expensive, they also note that Chartis Group is transparent about costs and doesn’t nickel-and-dime. With the highest number of validated Epic projects, Nordic also frequently exceeded expectations by being a strong, hands-on partner.

meditech tab

Focused MEDITECH Firms Engage and Navin, Haffty & Associates Deliver Strategic and Technical Expertise

staff strategy and satisfaction In August 2020, Engage’s parent company—Tegria (formerly Providence Services Group)—announced plans to acquire Navin, Haffty & Associates (NHA) with the goal of offering a broad, comprehensive set of services for MEDITECH customers. Clients of both firms report high overall satisfaction and view their firm as having strong strategic and technical expertise, with one respondent noting, “Engage knows MEDITECH better than MEDITECH knows MEDITECH.” Both client bases highlight their consultants’ broad experience, which enables these resources to answer a wide range of questions and interact well with both IT and clinical personnel. Additionally, Engage clients praise their resources’ ability to keep projects on track and recover from speed bumps. NHA clients say their firm is able to handle large projects, provides consultants who fit well with clients’ organizations, and rarely has to switch out resources.

Huron & Santa Rosa Consulting Inconsistent at Execution

engagement execution ad exceeds expectationsHuron, Santa Rosa Consulting, and Healthcare Triangle (limited data)—who were all validated mainly for MEDITECH and Epic implementations—do not consistently execute on their engagements. Just over 25% of Huron clients are dissatisfied overall. Issues reported by these clients include lack of engagement from Huron’s executives, poor follow-through on promises, and failure to resolve issues identified by the client. One client had to bring in another firm to finish their project, and multiple clients feel Huron nickel-and-dimed them. Satisfied Huron clients describe their consultants as responsive, honest, and communicative. Multiple Santa Rosa Consulting clients say their project was not properly scoped, leading to unexpected costs and feelings of being nickel-and-dimed. More-satisfied clients say the firm does a good job of following up on consultant performance. A couple of clients needed to change out resources who didn’t fit their needs, and they report that Santa Rosa did this quickly and seamlessly. Three of the four interviewed Healthcare Triangle (formerly Cornerstone Advisors) clients are highly satisfied with the firm, with one noting that their consultants had clinical experience and did an excellent job helping physicians learn the system. The fourth client reported a very poor experience (e.g., poor project management, lack of experience with the software), and multiple clients describe the firm as charging for every little thing.

About This Report

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT products and services their organizations use. These interviews are conducted using a standard quantitative evaluation, and the scores and commentary collected are used in reports like this one and shared online in real time so that other providers and IT professionals can benefit from their peers’ experiences. To enable readers to more quickly understand high-level differences in firms’ performance and give better context as to how each service offering compares to others in the market, KLAS has organized the questions from the standard evaluation into five customer experience pillars—loyalty, operations, services, relationship, and value.

customer experience pillars

For this report, KLAS also used an additional, supplemental evaluation to survey 55 organizations regarding their firm’s use of various implementation best practices. Insights from these interviews are shared in the full report.

The data in this report was collected over the last 18 months; the number of unique responding organizations for each survey type and firm is given in the chart below.

about this report

What Does "Limited Data" Mean?

Some services are used in only a small number of facilities, some firms are resistant to providing client lists, and some respondents choose not to answer particular questions. Thus a firm’s sample size may vary from question to question and may not reach KLAS’ required threshold of 6 unique respondents. When a firm’s sample size for a particular question is less than 6, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 3, no score is shown. Note that when a firm has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

Overall scores are measured on a 100-point scale and represent the weighted average of several yes/no questions as well as other questions scored on a 9-point scale.

author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
author - Jess Wallace-Simpson
Jess Wallace-Simpson
author - Mary Brown
Project Manager
Mary Brown
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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.