KLAS Report Highlights Providers’ Love-Hate Relationship with PACS

Nov. 25, 2009

CHICAGO (RSNA 2009) – Nov. 29, 2009 – The new KLAS performance report on PACS software exposes huge gaps between the scores of the highest- and lowest-performing PACS vendors. The report, announced today at the 2009 Radiological Society of North America conference, underscores the positive – and sometimes negative – impact a PACS vendor selection can have on an organization’s imaging strategy.

The KLAS study, titled The New PACS Market: From Gold Rush to Replacement, is the result of more than 1,600 provider interviews covering PACS products for large hospitals, community hospitals and outpatient clinics. The new PACS report is the most comprehensive KLAS has ever undertaken, and features performance ratings for more than three dozen products.

“In the KLAS scoring system, where a five-point spread is significant, there are huge gaps between the scores of the top-rated vendors and those at the bottom of the pack,” said Ben Brown, KLAS general manager of medical imaging and medical equipment research and author of the PACS study. Acute care performance scores showed a 23-point gap, with the top performer, GE Centricity PACS-IW, scoring 88.1, and the lowest performer, Cerner, scoring 65. Additionally, there was a 15.8-point gap between vendors in the community hospital space, and a 14-point gap in the ambulatory market.

“That kind of disparity among the vendor products is fairly unusual, and may be a cause for concern as many providers begin to build out an enterprise imaging strategy where their PACS vendor is a key partner,” Brown said.

The KLAS report also highlights the growing number of planned PACS replacements at the top end of the market. In particular, nearly 9 percent of the large hospitals surveyed indicated they were planning to replace their PACS. And with those decisions on the table, McKesson, Philips and GE (Centricity PACS-IW) are now reaping the fruits of their consistently high performance and are the leading choices for PACS replacements. On the other end of the spectrum, Merge, Siemens, eRAD and Emageon (AMICAS) are the vendors most likely to be replaced.

The KLAS PACS report includes vendor performance ratings in three categories: acute care PACS, community PACS and ambulatory PACS. The top-rated acute care PACS vendor was GE (with the Centricity PACS-IW product), which earned a performance score of 88.1 out of 100. Infinitt was the best-performing community PACS vendor, with a score of 87.5; and Intelerad was the leader among ambulatory PACS vendors, with an 89.2 performance score.


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