Value is the major concern for community hospital providers who are evaluating PACS replacements, according to new KLAS study, Community and Ambulatory PACS 2012: Questions of Value.
In the community hospital market, a vendor’s ability to balance price and continued functionality development is strongly tied to customers’ overall satisfaction. The value leaders, according to KLAS, are BRIT Systems, Infinitt, and Novarad, which were all identified by providers as delivering the most value for the cost. Providers said that all three vendors have fair pricing structures.
“Community hospitals need economical pricing and as much functionality as they can afford,” said Ben Brown, imaging research director at KLAS and author of the report. “Community hospitals don’t have the same expectations as large academic facilities, but finding the right balance between functionality and price is extremely important.”
Avreo, Infinitt, and McKesson are identified in the study as functionality leaders for community hospital clients. “Avreo’s simple design requires less IT attention and makes training easier,” found KLAS. McKesson customers note that the PACS is robust and is continually improving, though it is on the higher end of the cost spectrum. Infinitt customers like the streamlined and straightforward design, the organization said.
Not surprisingly, community hospital customers are dissatisfied with vendors that surprise them with extra charges for service or upgrades. Agfa, Fuji, GE, and Siemens are all on the more expensive end, according to KLAS, and customers cited being charged extra for service, upgrades, and interfaces when they were not expecting it. In addition to the systems being more expensive, providers more often question the overall value they receive from these vendors, the organization stated.
Other vendors rated in the study include Aspyra, Carestream, DR Systems, Merge, RadNet, and RamSoft.