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Pandemic Performance Part I – Vendors Stepping Up

Now more than ever, the partnerships between healthcare providers and vendors are crucial to the success of the industry and patient well-being.

Now months into the COVID-19 crisis, we have been able to reach out to our provider friends to see how well their vendor partners have supported them throughout the pandemic.

We are excited to share these findings with you in our Vendor Performance in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis report.

There’s so much to share on this topic, so this blog will the first part of a two-part series to highlight this report. In this blog, we will share the incredible responses of healthcare IT vendors and the emphasized importance of vendor-provider relationships in the industry.

Unanimous Undertaking

vendor overall and covid-19 satisfaction measured by customers

Without exception, every vendor that was measured in the report made significant efforts to support their customers well through these past several months. As with their provider counterparts, vendors realized that this pandemic was an all-hands-on-deck situation.

The differentiation we saw between vendor efforts to support their provider partners came down to a combination of a few key elements:

  1. Trusted Communication Lines

    Vendors who already had strong, established communication lines with their customers beforehand performed best. They didn’t have to scramble to try to get in contact with their customers. They were able to reach out at a moment’s notice to provide support; the trust was already there.

  2. Proactive Support

    Proactive vendors didn’t sit back and simply provide a webinar with a singular invitation to reach out if providers needed help. They kept coming back to providers over and over again to ask whether the providers had everything they needed, whether they needed anything more, and how they the vendors could help.

  3. Reactiveness with Provider Needs

    High-scoring firms are experts at listening to, reacting quickly to, and adjusting to customer needs. With customer satisfaction, we are usually measuring how well an organization reacts to the meet the needs of their customer. In this case, meeting customer needs means helping provider organization meet patient needs.

Above and Beyond

As we gathered the research for this report as well as our report Delivering Customer Success at a Time of Crisis, Part II, we were touched by the number of impressive and impactful stories of how vendors really stepped up to the occasion.

When vendors needed to ramp up telehealth capacity quickly, they called the CEOs of major chip manufacturing companies in order to reroute semitruck shipments of needed hardware and keep up with the hospitals’ needs.

We heard stories of vendors who, at great personal cost, set up entire field hospitals free of charge and flew in the healthcare professionals needed on-site to run the hospitals during the height of the pandemic. 

There have been a number of vendors who have stepped up to share in the large financial blow that provider organizations have taken to their budgets. As outlined in our COVID-19 Technology & Services Solutions Guide, many technology vendors are offering a lot of resources for free.

Provider Expectations

As we gathered the research for this report, it was confirmed to us over and over again how abundant provider organizations are with KLAS. We were humbled by how quickly providers were willing to jump back on the phone with us in the midst of the pandemic.

These providers realize how important their relationships with vendors are. As providers walk us through what is making a difference for them, they are in turn giving their vendor partners feedback on how they can continue to help meet their needs and ultimately the needs of the patients.

Vendors have shown that they are capable of meeting their customers’ needs on a new level. But if vendors have proven to be exemplary partners during COVID-19, why can’t this happen all the time?

Undoubtably, some vendors will slump back down to their prepandemic levels of communication, but I’m optimistic that some organizations will have found that they can do a better job of partnering than they have before.

In either case, the expectations for partnership in the industry will never be the same. Providers will continue to expect more out of their vendor partners, and vendor partners will continue to step up to those expectations.

Part II Coming Soon

Again, I want to thank every vendor and commend them for their ubiquitous efforts to support their provider partners during this time of crisis.

For more details on specific vendor performance in response to COVID-19, see our full report.

Part two of this blog series will be coming out soon. In that blog, we will discuss the crucial watershed moment the COVID-19 crisis has forced upon the healthcare industry regarding how it uses technology. Stay tuned.


      Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, Fractal Pictures