KLAS ratings of PACS vendors and products

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vendor ratingsKLAS, an independently owned and operated company that helps healthcare providers make informed decisions regarding their IT systems, conducts 40 performance and perceptions report annually. The reports measure vendor performance to improve healthcare technology delivery and give honest, accurate and impartial opinions to healthcare providers to help them in choosing the best for their operational needs.

Reports are built mainly on the opinions and ratings of thousands of healthcare providers that KLAS interviews to rate different vendors. KLAS ensures that its results are comprehensive and accurate by interviewing and including over 4,500 hospitals and over 3,000 doctor’s offices and clinics in their tests.

More than 250 healthcare technology vendors and over 900 products and services are rated using the KLAS methodology and communicated to the concerned stakeholders.

The rating system of KLAS depends on a number of questions that healthcare providers have to answer by rating different PACS vendors based on different, carefully chosen criteria. The vendors are rated in five main areas: sales and contracting, implementation and training, functionality and upgrades, service and support and general.

One of the most prominent annual reports issued by KLAS is the “Best in KLAS Awards: Software and Services” report. The Dec 2012 report announced Unity PACS platforms developed by DR Systems as the number 1 product and vendor.

This is the third consecutive year that DR Systems has won this award, and the sixth time since it was first declared as number one in 2001. Also, KLAS declared DR systems as the number one healthcare information technology vendor among its peers in 2007.

According to KLAS reports, healthcare IT vendors and the systems they provide are evaluated based on the technology and functionality they offer. The leaders are recognized as the ones that offer meaningful and timely upgrades with expanded usability and functionality for the users.

Another report issued by KLAS in November 2012, divided vendors according to the level of innovation and functionality they offer to healthcare providers. The vendors fell in one of three tiers, top, middle and bottom. The top tier vendors were ranked the most innovative because they always upgrade their tools in a timely manner while offering reliable and up-to-date technology. Infinitt and Intelerad were categorized as the most innovative, while other top ranking innovaters were DR Systems,

McKesson, Novarad, and Sectra that all released better radiologist tools with recent and timely upgrades. The top tier vendors all showed a track record of improvement,always working on their upgrades and the usability they offered to users, while the middle-tier vendors offered solid technology and upgrades but at a noticeably slower rate than the others. Among the middle-tier vendors were Carestream, Fuji, Merge, and Philips.

The bottom tier vendors did offer their users some scalability, stability and integration but they fell in the bottom because their technology and upgrades were still far behind and did not keep pace with the vendors ranking higher in innovation. The innovation bottom tier vendors included Agfa, Cerner, GE and Siemens.

So in short, KLAS reports act as a motivation tool for PACS vendors to always up their game and work on improving the products and services they provide healthcare providers with,while on the other hand act as a guidance tool for healthcare providers to determine which vendors will offer them a reliable, stable and up-to-date PACS that can truly benefit their operations and satisfy their imaging needs.

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