CIO

How KLAS Helps CIOs

As a key leader in healthcare, KLAS spends a lot of time helping CIOs. Often, the burden of purchasing decisions, driving strategy, and owning the success of the organization’s IT rests entirely on their shoulders. If KLAS is all about helping providers, it makes sense then that we focus on helping these CIOs make the best decisions possible. We do that in a few ways.

First, our research is meant to help CIOs make decisions about their IT purchases. CIOs might not know all the players in the area, or they might just not have all the information they need. What are the most recent versions of a vendor’s software like? How involved is their new executive team? How effective are their new implementation methods?

There are a couple of places CIOs can go to for this information. The first is our online tools, where continually updated customer feedback is published about various standard areas, like support, training, and functionality. We also do deeper, customized research.

In our reports, we drill down into specific areas. These might be longer-standing markets (like healthcare management consulting), hot-button areas (like interoperability and population health), or emerging solutions (like sepsis or AI and machine learning).

At KLAS we are always asking ourselves what healthcare providers want and need to know. These are usually the things that we, as shameless healthcare IT nerds, want to know, too. AI is one of those new, emerging areas that the industry wants to know about. So KLAS has begun gathering insights from early adopters.

AI is obviously an area with a lot of hype, but organizations (and CIOs in particular) need to be able to separate the smoke and mirrors from reality if they want to make the best decisions for their organization. I once saw a press release from a vendor talking about doing AI with a health system customer. I called up the health system’s CIO and asked how things were going and, while the organization was really enthusiastic and optimistic, they admitted they hadn’t actually achieved any results yet. For areas like AI, KLAS works to help providers make the right decisions for them based on what’s really happening.

Another way that KLAS helps CIOs is giving them a vision of what’s really happening with other customers using their same already-purchased vendor. For example, an organization might be struggling with some issue and essentially be told, “You’re the only one experiencing this.” When that doesn’t seem likely, KLAS data can help clear up the picture. If the issue is actually widespread, that helps providers approach their vendor with more context. Then they can work together to solve the problem.

The insights from other customers can also help CIOs know how to approach the problems they are having. Is this a one-off problem, or is it something bigger, like general lack of communication or an implementation methodology that isn’t prescriptive enough? Vendors might promise to fix an issue in an upgrade but when the issue is deeper than the software, solutions must go deeper than “the next version.”

If a CIO, through accurate insights, learns that the problem they face is deeper, they can then approach the vendor differently and ask the right questions. How can the vendor measure the organization’s success better? How can they get to real outcomes? And when considering a purchase, CIOs can look at how well vendors respond to those big issues and deliver on their promises.

We also encourage CIOs to use KLAS data for finding experienced vendors and be proactive about utilizing our data. When a vendor has implemented a solution for dozens of customers, they often can offer best practices and help new customers avoid pitfalls. Provider organizations can encourage more proactivity and prescriptivism from their vendors to get the best results.

Our end goal for CIOs in particular and healthcare at large is to have vendors and providers form deep and abiding partnerships where together they maximize care for patients.