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Is it Time to Reevaluate My Lab Strategy?

Is it Time to Reevaluate My Lab Strategy?
Laboratory Vendor Market Update 2015

Authored by: Colin Buckley September 29, 2015 | Read Time: 2  minutes

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In mature HIT markets, radical innovation and clever marketing hold little sway. That means the battle between best-of-breed vendors (who want to hold on to customers) and enterprise vendors (who want to encourage migration) depends on the strength of the individual players. The determining factors can be evaluated in three key dimensions: product, service, and value. This report highlights vendor strengths and weaknesses and also explores the maturity of Epic Beaker in the laboratory market.

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Orchard Harvest LIS is the top performing lab solution in the small hospital space, while SCC fills that spot for large hospitals. Both vendors’ innovation and service improvements have set the gold standard for the laboratory market. As Beaker’s customer base has grown to include labs with more complex needs, higher expectations have led to a decline in overall customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, McKesson has seen a lot of attrition via departing Horizon customers, but those who remain are satisfied with a user-friendly product.

overall and trending over time


Orchard and SCC are innovating and meeting many of their respective customer groups’ needs. While Cerner delivers a broad portfolio with advanced functionality, some providers mention the desire for more focused development on PathNet. Despite obvious gaps in functionality, Epic’s proactive service leads to strong performance ratings from IT personnel. MEDITECH customers complain of inexperienced staff and an inability to address problems, leading to low performance. Providers are nervous about Cerner NOVIUS and McKesson Lab, since the products’ lifespans are uncertain, but they report continuous good service and support.

Functionality vs Proactive Service


As the laboratory landscape continues to change and more providers migrate to their EMR vendor’s LIS, best-of-breed vendors are facing a challenge. Financial value is a large factor for most providers, and Orchard and SCC are praised for giving customers their money’s worth. Epic customers report lower value, especially lab personnel, who recognize that Beaker is not as mature as other Epic products. Cerner and Sunquest customers both tout robust functionality, though they express annoyance at nickel-and-diming practices.

Value vs Nick and Diming


More Epic customers, including a few large IDNs, are starting to transition over to Beaker. For many, the integration improves their workflow, while regular updates and vendor guidance can compensate for the product’s immaturity. Small hospitals within IDNs are among the most vocal critics, as they have to adjust to a loss of flexibility in moving to a centralized LIS model. Large hospitals note weak anatomic pathology, the lack of a blood bank, and unpolished functionality. Though Beaker has steadily improved and providers are optimistic going forward, they expect a more mature product.

beaker vs previous lis

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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. © 2021 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.