Oncology

The Medical Oncology Market in 2019

I consider it an exciting privilege to delve into the data KLAS has gathered from providers all over the US and beyond. For the past couple of months, I’ve been knee-deep in the data for our Medical Oncology 2019 report, slated to be published later this spring. I’ve really enjoyed understanding more deeply the community cancer center perspective of what is top of mind for oncology providers today.

Changes Since 2017

In our Medical Oncology 2017 report, we highlighted the status quo of the industry. Epic and Cerner were gaining market share but still falling short; providers were hopeful but cautious about partnerships between vendors; Elekta customers were complaining about a lack of innovation.

After this report, new questions began to emerge: How did the Varian-Flatiron attempted alliance affect customers? How has Epic’s Beacon earned a score in the same range as several best-of-breed vendors? Has Elekta managed to bounce back from customer concerns? Our provider friends had intriguing answers for us.

I’m also excited about another aspect of the 2019 report: trending. We asked a few of the same questions for this report that we did for the 2017 report, including questions about vendor commitment and oncology workflows. In the Drill Deeper section of this year’s report, we compare providers’ older and newer experiences. These trends are telling to say the least.

What’s Important to Providers

According to KLAS’ Decision Insights data, integration and innovation appear to be most important to customers looking to buy or replace oncology tools. That’s one reason we asked about connection to outside EMRs in both the 2017 and 2019 medical oncology reports.

After all, patient shouldn’t have to carry a shoebox of CDs between their PCP’s office, the hospital, and the community cancer center. Vendors must develop oncology tools and relationships that will make patient care as smooth as possible.

In 2017, we explored how well specific oncology systems integrated with outside EMRs. In our latest report, we asked which outside EMRs the oncology systems connect with. It was most interesting to me to see the differences between enterprise vendors like Cerner and Epic that have solutions in multiple other spaces versus the more oncology specific vendors. You can find out the details in the report.

Dissecting Commitment

Oncology is remarkably complex, even by healthcare’s standards. But with cancer predicted to quickly become the leading cause of death in the US, the need for vendors dedicated to medical oncology is dire. We wanted to learn which vendors have strong commitment to the space.

I really enjoyed taking a look at some of the key areas we analyzed, including the differences between the vendors who focus primarily on medical oncology and those with split focuses. It was fascinating to see how that variation of attention would affect providers perspectives of their vendors’ commitment to medical oncology. Interestingly, there were also some associations with vendors who have an additional focus in radiation oncology and providers’ adoption of clinical trial technology.

Relationships turned out to be an important metric by which providers measured commitment. In analyzing the provider feedback, we identified several success principles that oncology vendors—and indeed all vendors—can work on in order to become true partners to their customers including listening to customer feedback and setting proper expectations.

Learning What Works

One of the most encouraging findings in the Medical Oncology 2019 report is that each vendor has a pocket—whether big or small—of successful customers. I’m confident that the data we present in the report can help vendors and providers apply best practices in developing and using medical oncology tools. I hope you’ll learn as much as I did.




Photo Cred: Shutterstock, Gorodenkoff