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PACS Value Weighs Heavily in Providers' Decision Making

Ambulatory and community hospital providers see continued functionality development and support from PACS vendors as value drivers in conjunction with cost.
    OREM, UT, November 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Value is the major concern for ambulatory and community hospital providers who are evaluating PACS replacements, according to new research out from KLAS. The study, entitled Community and Ambulatory PACS 2012: Questions of Value, includes feedback from more than 1,000 community hospital and ambulatory providers.

The report is divided into two market segments, focusing on the needs and satisfaction drivers of both community hospitals and ambulatory groups. In the community hospital market, a vendor's ability to balance price and continued functionality development is strongly tied to customers' overall satisfaction. Ambulatory providers are even more concerned about the bottom line than community hospital customers, but they also need dedicated support.

In the community hospital space, the value leaders are BRIT Systems, Infinitt, and Novarad, which were all identified by providers as delivering the most value for the cost. Providers said that all three vendors have fair pricing structures.

"Community hospitals need economical pricing and as much functionality as they can afford," said Ben Brown, imaging research director at KLAS and author of the report. "Community hospitals don't have the same expectations as large academic facilities, but finding the right balance between functionality and price is extremely important."

Avreo, Infinitt, and McKesson are identified in the study as functionality leaders for community hospital clients. Avreo's simple design requires less IT attention and makes training easier. McKesson customers note that the PACS is robust and is continually improving, though it is on the higher end of the cost spectrum. Infinitt customers like the streamlined and straightforward design.

Ambulatory providers identify Intelerad, Infinitt, and Philips as value leaders. Intelerad has a higher price point for the outpatient market, but customers feel the product quality and support are worth the cost. Infinitt customers note that Infinitt's ASP model meets the needs of cost-sensitive providers in the ambulatory market. Philips' pay-per-study model also works well for outpatient imaging customers.

Strong support is a necessity for ambulatory providers, who may have fewer IT resources to deal with problems that arise. Providers give Philips high marks for responding quickly to reported issues. Intelerad customers speak highly of the executive team and their relationship with Intelerad.

Community hospital customers are dissatisfied with vendors that surprise them with extra charges for service or upgrades. Agfa, Fuji, GE, and Siemens are all on the more expensive end, and customers cited being charged extra for service, upgrades, and interfaces when they were not expecting it. In addition to the systems being more expensive, providers more often question the overall value they receive from these vendors.

Vendors with poor support and who are more expensive are the lowest rated in the ambulatory market. Agfa, GE, and Sectra customers say that service from these vendors is too slow, they do not get the attention they need, and, to add insult to injury, the systems are expensive.

Other vendors rated in the study include Aspyra, Carestream, DR Systems, Merge, RadNet, and RamSoft. To learn more about the community hospital and ambulatory PACS market segments and the vendors in this study, providers and vendors can check out the full report, Community and Ambulatory PACS 2012: Questions of Value. This report is available to healthcare providers at a significant discount. To purchase, visit www.KLASresearch.com/KLASreports.

KLAS is a research firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers to be heard and be counted. Working with thousands of healthcare executives and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services, medical equipment, and infrastructure systems to deliver timely reports, trends, and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. KLAS was founded in 1996, and KLAS' staff and advisory board members average 25 years of healthcare information technology experience. For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email marketing@KLASresearch.com, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter @KLASresearch.


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Andrea Morrill
KLAS

Orem, UT
USA
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