KLAS Finds Enterprise Players Making Oncology Inroads

Monique Rasband, Analyst, Medical Imaging/Medical Equipment Research, KLAS

Looking for greater integration with other core clinical applications, providers have invited enterprise HIT vendors to enter the Oncology arena, according to a new KLAS report Oncology IS 2011: Integrating the Island.

The specialty is one fraught with information silos, due to physicians moving between hospitals and clinics, and patients moving between infusion suites and radiation oncology facilities.

Enterprise Players

Enterprise solution Epic Beacon received the highest overall performance score (83.4) this year, in spite of not being ranked in the report because KLAS was unable to validate enough users of the solution in cancer centers and ambulatory clinics. While a large portion of the data came from IT, Epic customers feel secure in the company’s high level of commitment, despite some limited functionality, and they believe that the solution’s progress is promising, KLAS stated. Early findings were included for US Oncology iKnowMed (recently acquired by McKesson); but due to limited sample sizes this product were not ranked in the report. KLAS was able to validate a number of sites that have contracted Cerner PowerChart Oncology and are planning to go live in the acute space. Cerner also was not ranked in this report due to limited sample.

While most practices appear to be relieved that Meaningful Use incentives have raised the bar for oncology IS vendors and brought both enterprise EMR and niche market HIT vendors into the market, most are not fully satisfied with the current offerings. Best-of-breed vendors have picked up their game, but are being forced to allocate precious resources to accommodate MU requirements; enterprise vendors are coming in with guns blazing, but appear to be focusing on medical oncology only, KLAS found.

“Full integration is critical in the new world of accountable care,” said Monique Rasband, author of the report. “At this point in time, no one is quite hitting all the targets; enterprise vendors are offering products without radiation oncology applications, and best-of-breed vendors are pushing to interface suites to enterprise and other systems.”

Best of Breed

Varian ARIA’s score improved by eight points over the past year,  moving this niche solution from last place in the 2010 report (71.1 out of 100) to first place in this year’s report (79.6) and closer to the performance scores of the other oncology solutions. Elekta/MOSAIQ (78.7) and IntrinsiQ/IntelliDose (74.7) both continued to perform well this year, ranking second and third respectively. BMSi ONCOCHART is also mentioned.

The competition for these three best-of breed vendors is tightening, as evidenced by their performance scores. Overall, Varian customers feel that the solution delivers a solid offering across the oncology suite, Elekta’s large client-base reports that MOSAIQ is a good oncology partner with a system that shows continued improvement and works well in the ambulatory space, and IntrinsiQ users say the solution offers robust oncology tools that complement any EMR, KLAS found.

“Newcomers BMSi and US Oncology are gaining momentum in the oncology IT space,” added Rasband. “Their nimbleness combined with web-based platforms make their products less expensive, easier to use, and allows vendors to execute quick upgrades. Once iKnowMed gets the needed integration components, they could be a formidable competitor in this market segment.”

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