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Secure Communication 2017

Secure Communication 2017
The Realities of Secure Communication Platform Adoption

Authored by: Paul Hess and Paul Warburton December 21, 2017 | Read Time: 6  minutes

The main focus of this report is to examine the performance and adoption of secure communication platforms. Thus, in gathering feedback on clinical collaboration tool deployment, nurse/physician adoption, and impact on care team communication, KLAS spoke specifically to organizations with the most developed secure communication strategies. Feedback on these areas is thus limited to a smaller field of vendors. As a secondary focus, sections of this report also include performance feedback regarding standard secure messaging solutions. This feedback comes from vendors’ broader customer bases.



Industry Insights and Context

KLAS’ 2016 report on the secure communication market identified a clear division between vendors: (1) those who offer standard secure messaging solutions (focused primarily on HIPAA-compliant physician communication and most prevalent in the ambulatory market), and (2) those with secure communication platforms (predominantly found in acute care settings). Since then, provider expectations for platform solutions have evolved to include (1) tools and functionality that enhance physician and nurse workflows, (2) both acute and ambulatory care deployments, and (3) a wide variety of clinical collaboration tools. While no vendor provides a solution that consistently meets all platform needs, many vendors that previously offered standard solutions have now moved closer to having a platform offering. To clarify where each vendor is in this evolution, the following table gives a high-level market overview of the vendors most frequently included in healthcare organizations’ RFPs.



Market Overview


market overview

Report Focus

The deployment of clinical collaboration tools is one of the more difficult aspects of secure communication platforms. As a result, this report focuses primarily on examining those vendors that have deployed the widest variety of the most commonly requested tools and how they are impacting customers’ clinical communication. This report measures deployment of the following commonly requested collaboration tools:


Interface with alarm middleware


Physician on-call scheduling


EMR interfacing


Telemetry or patient-monitoring interfacing


Mass-notification functionality


PBX/VOIP interfacing


Lab and radiology results


Nurse-call interfacing



Nurse-Focused Solutions See Broader Deployment of Clinical Collaboration Tools


depth of clinical collaboration tool deployment and physician nurse adoption



Vendor Bottom Lines and Technology Satisfaction

† Technology Satisfaction score represents a combination of scores for delivery of new technology, overall product quality, ease of use, supports integration goals, and product has needed functionality.


Cerner: 75% (n=15)
Cerner customers report broadest use of clinical collaboration tools of any customer base. Deployment driven largely by Cerner’s EMR and middleware. Rolling out advanced tools has improved nurse workflows for some. Satisfaction with the tools is lower. Several customers report functionality concerns and product immaturity.


Doc Halo: 86% (n=29)
Historically focused on physician communication workflows though now sees adoption of broader collaboration tools. Customers are highly satisfied with the clinical collaboration tools they have chosen to roll out, including mass notifications and physician on-call scheduling. Starting to do more with nurse workflows; early feedback is positive.


PatientSafe Solutions: 89% (n=11)
Focuses primarily on meeting nurse workflow needs, for which there is high satisfaction. Previous development of EMR integration with barcoding solution has enabled deployment of bidirectional integration between EMR and secure communication solution. Nursing focus means usage by physicians is low, though physician functionality is offered.


PerfectServe: 83% (n=26)
Historically focused on physician communication workflows. Easy-to-use platform drives high satisfaction among physicians, and dynamic notification-routing engine drives adoption of on-call scheduling and phone system interfacing to ensure physicians can be reached at the right time and place and in the right way. Continues to expand into acute care settings and develop functionality for nurse workflows and integration with middleware. Current nurse functionality is less robust; nurse adoption has been minimal to date.


Spok: 76% (n=28)
Has largest customer base using clinical collaboration tools, the majority being acute care organizations, but these customers have narrower deployment. Fewer have interfaced their system with other tools as they lack guidance during implementation and have seen less product development. Struggles to see high levels of end-user adoption due to technology glitches and fewer workflows for nurses. Has highest percentage of customers reporting plans to leave.



Telmediq: 93% (n=16)
Larger base of ambulatory customers; some growth in acute care settings over the last several years. Has highest overall performance score; customers highlight the strength of the physician scheduling tool’s ability to address complex and unique scheduling challenges. Oustide this, deployment of clinical collaboration tools is far less consistent. Customers are working to deploy more and feel Telmediq develops easy-to-use tools capable of being interfaced.


TigerText: 87% (n=27)
Has by far the largest market share of standard secure messaging customers. Easy-to-use solution is heavily focused on physicians; for platform users, this results in less deployment beyond lab results and nurse call. Customers acknowledge and appreciate vendor’s efforts to roll out more clinical collaboration tools and tools for the nurse workflow, which are currently less prevalent. Several customers mention plans to leave; functionality gaps are a contributing reason.


Voalte: 84% (n=35)
Heavy focus on adoption of corporate-owned devices, integration, and nurse workflows has enabled customers to deploy wide breadth of clinical collaboration tools, especially among nurses. Is focused on delivering all three areas of a secure communication platform; customers are satisfied with the technology and plan to stay for the long term. Looking to deepen deployment in the future by rolling solution out more to physicians.


Vocera Collaboration Suite: 85% (n=20)
Customers have deployed wide breadth of tools thanks to strong interfacing and the use of Vocera’s badges by nurses. Satisfaction with the technology is high; customers view the tool as a secure communication platform due to the breadth of both software and hardware offerings. Less physician adoption, but growth and development are increasing this.


Vocera Engage Mobile: 85% (n=12)
Feedback comes from limited sample. Customers have achieved wide breadth of deployment thanks to use of Vocera’s Engage middleware solution and its ability to work in conjunction with the secure communication system to accommodate nurse workflows. Satisfaction is high, driven by strong functionality and breadth of clinical collaboration tools; no interviewed customers report plans to leave.



Vocera Collaboration Suite and TigerText Make It Easy to Loop in the Inpatient Care Team

Vocera Collaboration Suite is highlighted for driving effective care-team communication with voice-activated hands-free devices that enable nurses to easily communicate with the appropriate people. Adoption of TigerText in the inpatient setting is growing. In the limited feedback available, TigerText users report that the role-based grouping ability is easy to use and allows for flexibility in communicating with care-team members. To date, TigerText customers do this without broadly deployed EMR integration. Some Spok customers feel it requires a lot of effort on their part to maintain the directory and that they lack the integration needed to automate this process. It is up to customers to decide who is included in the directory. Doc Halo customers aren’t always able to identify which clinicians are part of a patient’s care team. They are looking forward to future enhancements to the scheduling functionality. Functionality concerns and a high focus on nurse workflows have kept many Cerner customers from rolling the solution out to the broader care team, reducing its impact on care team communication.

care team communication


Standard Secure Messaging



Telmediq Stands Out for Superior Relationships, Technology

Not all organizations want a full-blown secure communication platform. Organizations that are looking for a more basic system to enable HIPAA-compliant messaging or who would like to consolidate multiple secure messaging systems have several high-performing options. Telmediq provides strong customer relationships and also offers a broader secure communication platform. qliqSOFT, Doc Halo, and Imprivata also drive high satisfaction. Customers feel their solutions’ high ease of use helps drive deep enterprise-wide adoption. TigerText’s strong technology has dominant market share in the standard secure messaging market. Customers would like more attentive relationships. Spok and Cerner customers see room for improvement. Spok customers experience significant downtime and feel that Spok fails to provide guidance on how to best use the product. Cerner users feel their solution needs additional development.

standard secure messaging technology vs service and support

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Key Findings

  1. Nurse-Focused Solutions See Broader Deployment of Clinical Collaboration Tools
  2. Vendor Bottom Lines
  3. Vocera Collaboration Suite and TigerText Make It Easy to Loop in the Inpatient Care Team
  4. Telmediq Stands Out for Superior Relationships, Technology


depth of clinical collaboration tool deployment and physician nurse adoption

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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. © 2020 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.