KLAS Looks at Consulting Options

March 23, 2010

OREM, Utah – March 23, 2010 – With more than 90 percent of U.S. hospitals still trying to reach the proposed adoption hurdle for computerized physician order entry (CPOE), many organizations are looking to make major investments in professional services firms. A new report from KLAS aims to help providers weigh their options by evaluating which firms have the experience and knowledge to help them obtain stimulus funding.

The KLAS report, Getting to Stimulus Funding: Which Consultants Can Help? reviews the clinical implementation, clinical transformation, staff augmentation and advisory services capabilities of more than a dozen professional services firms, including both large full-service consultancies and smaller specialty firms. Regarding clinical implementations, the study found that while IBM and CSC enjoyed the lion’s share of larger clinical engagements a few years ago, Deloitte and ACS have now joined CSC as key players. IBM on the other hand participates in significantly fewer projects today, sliding to a smaller number similar to Accenture’s.

“Community hospitals, larger medical centers or IDNs that are either just getting started or have decided to replace a previous clinical information system are the providers that will likely benefit most from engaging one of the large full-service consulting firms,” said Lorin Bird, KLAS research director and author of the new study.

In terms of overall performance when acting as the lead on clinical engagements, ACS, CTG and Deloitte are in a virtual dead heat, scoring a full 10 points above the next closest firm, Accenture, which is a significant performance gap. IBM, the top-performing firm in 2006 for large clinical implementations, has dropped significantly, as has CSC. Neither firm has been able to maintain the high customer ratings once enjoyed by the healthcare-focused consultancies Healthlink (acquired by IBM in 2005) and First Consulting Group (acquired by CSC in 2007).

Full-service firms, however, are not the only option for providers looking to deploy and speed adoption of clinical systems. The study notes that firms like maxIT Healthcare and Vitalize have experience working with several vendors and offer solid teams of skilled consultants to fill supportive roles for providers’ smaller projects. Other services firms, including Coastal, Ingenix, Innovative Healthcare Solutions and Peer Consulting, deliver highly rated implementation services primarily focused on a particular vendor or product.

Beyond clinical implementations, Getting to Stimulus Funding: Which Consultants Can Help? also considers the benefits of clinical transformation engagements, which encompass not just technology but also clinician workflow and process redesign in order to improve quality of care. In addition to the large full-service firms, Dearborn Advisors has the most experience in these expansive engagements. Other firms offer advisory services to address initial clinical transformation steps.

The KLAS report overviews the performance and experience of 14 professional services firms in practice areas such as clinical implementation, clinical transformation, staff augmentation and advisory services. Firms highlighted in the report include Accenture, ACS, CSC, CTGHS, Dell Perot Systems, Deloitte, IBM, Coastal, Hayes Management, Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Ingenix, maxIT Healthcare, Peer Consulting and Vitalize.

www.KLASresearch.com/reports

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