CSC, Deloitte, and Dell show the greatest depth and breadth of healthcare IT advisory engagement, appearing in almost all IT advisory areas, according to a new report from KLAS — Advisory Services: Navigating the Maze of Performance and Choice.
(Click on the player below to hear a Podcast interview with report authors Bird & Smith)
Unlike most other firms in this report, the organization states, these three helped implement selected technology, new IT strategic road maps and/or put in place the operational structures they recommended.
The report reviews major factors that triggered respondents’ selection of one IT advisory services firm over the others. It considers nine IT advisory services:
- Clinical Transformation
- Gap Analysis
- Infrastructure Planning
- IT Assessment
- IT Strategy/Planning
- Pre-Implementation Planning
- Readiness Assessment
- Revenue Cycle Assessment
- Vendor Selection
“One of the key reasons we did this study was because of the complexity of the market — it can be very challenging to understand and get through,” said Lorin Bird, KLAS research director and author of the report. “We wanted to provide greater clarity around who was doing what and how well.”
Regardless of what any of these firms offer, exceptional talent ranks high as a ‘must have’ for providers, KLAS found. Thus, one area that healthcare organizations must do their homework is learning to what degree consultancies send an “A-Team” to all contracted engagements. While the natural instinct for service providers to take on all business is understandable, Lorin and Mike Smith, general manager, Financial & Services Research (who was also involved with crafting the report) agree it’s the firms with the tightest focus and consistent quality that achieve the best scores.
“The firms that scored 90 and above did a good job of bringing the A-Team every time, and some walked away if they didn’t feel they could handle the business. Those that scored in the middle or lower 80s had some inconsistency in the talent they were providing,” said Bird.
Looking at individual firms, customers selected ACS based on recommendations and referrals, CSC for their knowledge of vendor applications, Dell for their knowledge of Meditech, CTG for their subject matter expertise, and IBM for their talent pool, according to KLAS.
The report reveals the strategy work of Aspen Advisors, Encore, IBM, Impact Advisors, and PwC rated above 90 out of a possible 100, with no firm scoring below an 80.
IT Assessment work showed greater variability, KLAS found, with ACS, Aspen Advisors, and Impact Advisors all scoring above 89, but Cerner lagging far behind the pack,
Kurt Salmon (KSA) was the leader in selection services, the report finds.
Impact Advisors ranked highest, with an overall performance score of 94.
Encore, Dell, KSA, and Aspen Advisors were close behind when considering a combination of Planning & Assessment and Vendor Selection categories.
In terms of pricing, Smith said that while some of the newer firms may be leveraging their lower overhead to charge lower fees, satisfaction comes down to expectations. “If I spend money on a BMW, but feel like I’m driving a Honda, I’m not going to be too happy, but if I spend on a Honda and get that experience, I’ll probably be satisfied.”
Findings about Accenture, Courtyard Group, Cumberland, Hayes Management, Ingenix, Peer Consulting, Phoenix Health Systems, and Vitalize Consulting Solutions are also included in the report. Results from 260 survey participants identified a total of 20 firms they currently contract with, of which 15 qualified for inclusion in the report.