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PACS 2017

PACS 2017
Reconstructing for the Future

Authored by: Eder Lagemann and Alexander McIntosh September 5, 2017 | Read Time: 4  minutes

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The PACS market has changed significantly over the past few years—performance from historical PACS leaders has dropped, and newer entrants have begun to stand out and steadily expand into larger provider organizations. Additionally, enterprise imaging is changing the way providers think about vendors and future purchasing decisions.

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While this report focuses mainly on the performance of core PACS solutions, information about the overall enterprise imaging (EI) market and the performance of other EI solutions has been added for context and clarity. Additional EI insights can be found in KLAS’ 2016 enterprise imaging report, “Enterprise Imaging 2016: Early Leaders in a Growing Market.”

1. Sectra, INFINITT, Carestream, and McKesson Leading in PACS Performance, Still Solidifying Place in Enterprise Imaging

Sectra, INFINITT, Carestream, and McKesson stand out for either notable improvement or consistently high performance. Noted for stellar relationship building with customers, Sectra is gaining in mindshare and has maintained their Best in KLAS ranking for several years running. INFINITT has been a consistent high performer overall for many years and has steadily scaled upward into larger organizations. To date, both Sectra and INFINITT have seen only limited adoption by very large hospitals (>500 beds). Carestream has highly regarded technology, and overall satisfaction has been climbing as Carestream has bolstered their support to better meet customers’ needs. McKesson customers, especially imaging centers, have noted improvements to contracting, implementations and upgrades, and support. Providers note that all of these performance leaders will need to expand their experience and visibility outside of PACS in order to keep pace with vendors such as Agfa HealthCare, GE Healthcare, and Merge, who are better known for having enterprise imaging–focused approaches.

2017 pacs performance leaders and how they got there all organization sizes

detailed breakdown of pacs overall scores

2. Merge Consistently Covering Most Bases; Agfa HealthCare Customers Take First Step with New Platform

Merge customers (Merge PACS and DR Systems Unity PACS) are cautiously optimistic about the potential radiology uses for IBM’s AI technology and have not reported any disruption following IBM’s acquisition. Customers are showing increased interest in Merge’s strong enterprise imaging strategy and are happy overall, with larger organizations being the most satisfied. Imaging centers using Unity PACS are an exception. They have experienced a steep drop-off in satisfaction since being acquired by Merge, and several have reported layoffs among DR Systems’ support staff. Though some of Agfa HealthCare’s most dissatisfied IMPAX users have moved to other systems, Agfa HealthCare has maintained the customer experience for remaining IMPAX users while developing a new PACS as part of their enterprise imaging platform. This platform has piqued industry interest, and the handful of early adopters are optimistic about the future.

3. Siemens Becoming Irrelevant; GE PACS Customers Struggling as Vendor Transitions to Enterprise Imaging Focus

Siemens customers have not seen improvements to their PACS in recent years, and Siemens’ once-sizable market share has decreased considerably, to the extent that KLAS now has difficulty finding customers to interview. Few providers talk about Siemens as part of their PACS or enterprise imaging strategy despite Siemens’ recent public claims to commit resources to software solutions. GE Healthcare has struggled to deliver on promised integration and new technology for their PACS platforms, and customers of both platforms have experienced unresponsive support. As a result, GE Healthcare has lost a number of customers to other vendors. At the same time, GE Healthcare has been trying to redefine themselves in the emerging enterprise imaging market and is still often considered by providers for both PACS and enterprise imaging purchases.

large hospital customer retention and loyalty

4. Providers Waiting for the Wow from Fujifilm and Philips

Fujifilm and Philips have met providers’ needs for years with stable, easy-to-use PACS solutions, and both are still broadly considered. However, customers have been left wishing for more innovation, citing frustrations around promised but undelivered functionality. The vendors’ plans for enterprise imaging may change this. Fujifilm acquired TeraMedica a few years ago for their VNA, though providers still view the VNA solution as being independent from the PACS. Philips is developing an enterprise imaging platform from the ground up but has been somewhat late to the game.

5. Novarad Continues to Slide in Imaging Centers; Intelerad Hits Speed Bumps after Investment from Equity Firm

As health systems consolidate, vendors who have primarily catered to imaging centers and small hospitals will need to expand into larger organizations to be viewed as strategic options. Sectra and INFINITT have successfully expanded into large hospitals, while Intelerad, Novarad, Avreo, and CoActiv have yet to see significant traction. Satisfaction with Intelerad is still relatively high though it dipped following the recent investment from private equity firm NOVACAP. Customers report a decrease in support quality and an increase in nickel-and-diming. Novarad performs well in the community hospital space, but imaging centers report a drop in the stronger relationships and guidance typically needed by smaller organizations, and these customers’ overall satisfaction has declined nearly 20% in recent years. As customer satisfaction with many of the vendors in this space declines, imaging centers and community hospitals are left with fewer very strong PACS options.

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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.