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Performance management

Mainstream BI rated most highly by hospitals

OREM, Utah – Unlike most segments of healthcare IT that are dominated by a handful of specialized healthcare vendors, the enterprise business intelligence (BI) solutions deployed at hospitals are more likely to come from general software companies like SAP and IBM, according to a report from KLAS.

The latest KLAS report, Enterprise Business Intelligence: Does Shopping Outside Healthcare Pay Off?, gathers the opinions of more than 180 healthcare provider executives to evaluate the market for enterprise BI solutions, which combine financial and clinical data analytics to help providers analyze trends and make strategic decisions.

According to the report, 10 of the top 13 most-considered solutions in BI purchases come from mainstream vendors, widely eclipsing interest in solutions from Cerner, Eclipsys, Epic, GE and Siemens.

Though enterprise BI adoption is still relatively rare in the healthcare industry, Dimensional Insight, IBM, Information Builders and SAP all had enough validated deployments to be ranked in the KLAS report.

In general, providers praised these vendors for delivering powerful and flexible tools that offered a wide variety of data options; and their clients generally represent the deepest adopters of business intelligence. However, extensive flexibility often brings with it significant complexity.

“Providers have indicated that many of the industry-agnostic vendor solutions are so highly configurable and complex that organizations without a sizable IT department find the systems unwieldy and sometimes beyond their capacity,” said Lorin Bird, KLAS research director and author of the new report. “For instance, IBM clients who used consultants to implement Cognos scored the solution roughly 10 points higher than those who did it themselves.”

Among the core hospital vendors, the only company to be ranked in the KLAS report was McKesson, with its Horizon Business Insight product. Cerner has had some success extending its BI capabilities beyond clinical analytics and into the financial realm, but its reach is still very limited.

The KLAS report also highlights the role providers expect BI to play in demonstrating meaningful use. Healthcare providers need to show ‘meaningful use’ to qualify for IT funding under the Obama administration’s stimulation package.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe BI solutions will play an important or critical role in meaningful use. As one provider said, “BI will play a critical role. Never before have we been so carefully scrutinized, and the BI system helps us provide the information and reports needed to be successful.”

Among the enterprise BI vendors ranked in the KLAS report, Dimensional Insight was rated number one, with an overall KLAS performance score of 84.1 out of 100. Information Builders (80.1) and McKesson (77.6) were second and third, respectively. Other vendors highlighted in the KLAS report include Cerner, IBM, Lawson, Microsoft, Oracle, Precision.BI, SAP, SAS and Siemens.

To learn more about the enterprise business intelligence market, including the strengths and weaknesses of vendor BI solutions, the report Enterprise Business Intelligence: Does Shopping Outside Healthcare Pay Off? is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4,500 hospitals and over 2,500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures the performance of software, professional services and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.

Posted May 6, 2010