Wednesday, July 22, 2009
In an era in which post-war shortages contributed to a concentration on production, most companies had developed a product orientation which Levitt believed was too narrow a philosophy to allow continued business success. A drive to increase the efficiency and volume of production took place at the expense of monitoring whether the company was actually producing what the customer wanted. Marketing myopia stressed that customer wants and desires should be a central consideration of any business.
"The organisation must learn to think of itself not as producing goods or services but as buying customers, as doing the things that will make people want to do business with it." (Marketing myopia) In order to achieve this,
"... the entire corporation must be viewed as a customer-creating and customer satisfying organism. Management must think of itself not as providing products but as providing customer-creating value satisfactions. It must push this idea (and everything it means and requires) into every nook and cranny.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The new KLAS report, Executive Reaction to the Stimulus Package, reflects feedback from dozens of CIOs and other healthcare executives on a range of economic issues. Among a number of findings, the report explores the gap between what providers need and what vendors are offering to deal with a troubled economy.
"Simply put, the solutions providers are requesting the most are the options vendors are pursuing the least," said Jeremy Bikman, executive vice president of research and strategy for KLAS. "Certainly, reduced maintenance fees and other cost-cutting measures would be welcomed by providers, but not every creative solution has a dollar sign attached to it.
"More than a quarter of the providers we interviewed are looking to vendors to help them achieve a stronger ROI - and that means more training and better support," he said. "Providers are essentially saying, 'help us use your system more effectively,' and very few vendors have answered the call."
Beyond the vendor-provider relationship, Executive Reaction to the Stimulus Package also addresses the shift in IT project timelines since the ratification of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and its provisions for healthcare IT. While the dramatic 2008 economic downturn redirected most hospitals into survival mode, the future reimbursement changes outlined in the ARRA have caused a violent shock in the market. According to the report, twenty-eight percent of providers have speeded up or changed the direction of their IT plans since the announcement of the stimulus package, with 43 percent ready to move but watching cautiously.
Those providers who are accelerating their plans not only have an eye toward reimbursement dollars but are also eager to have first pick of the best resources. As one IDN's executive team summarized, "The ARRA will create a feeding frenzy for EMRs and will overburden vendors and consulting firms."
Though no healthcare technology vendors received overwhelming praise for their efforts to help provider customers deal with the challenging economy, a few companies were noted for their efforts. Microsoft, Epic and GE received the highest ratings from providers for trying to support their customers with creative solutions, while Agfa, Kronos and Meditech received the lowest scores. Other vendors referenced in the study include Cerner, CPSI, Eclipsys, Lawson, McKesson, QuadraMed and Siemens.
"Almost every organization, provider or vendor, is struggling right now in some way. What vendors must understand, however, is that the short-term sacrifices they make today will create relationships that can bear fruit for years to come," Bikman said.
To learn more about healthcare executive reaction to the current economy, the report Executive Reaction to the Stimulus Package 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 www.KLASresearch.com.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
MedSenses develops interactive e-courseware for nurses, linking scientific research to commercialization, jobs, and economic growth. MedSenses focuses on the development, production and commercialization of custom designed e-course elements, made for the health care industry, such as 3-D animations, medical illustrations, case scenarios, and clinical expertise. The $374,500 funding will allow the New Brunswick company to continue enhancing learning for nurses and the delivery of health care through new innovative communication technologies.
"NRC-IRAP is playing an important role in the success of the company," said Tim Barnett, Chief Executive Officer of MedSenses. "The financial support we are receiving from NRC-IRAP, together with our business partners, will help us develop nurses' critical thinking skills, ultimately leading to increased quality of care for our health consumers. Now that we have proven ourselves as experts in continuing education for nurses, it was time to consider leveraging technology to provide a more realistic and valuable learning experience for our users."
Monday, July 13, 2009
OREM, Utah – July 8, 2009 – With many hospitals and imaging centers still struggling to reconcile technology budgets amid a tough economy, digital mammography has proven to be a solid investment for many healthcare providers. While a switch from traditional film mammography to digital technology can present a learning curve for clinicians, according to a new report from KLAS, many providers feel that digital mammography pays for itself when done right.
In Digital Mammography: Hot Market in a Cool Economy, KLAS interviewed more than 200 healthcare professionals about their use of full-field digital mammography (FFDM) solutions. The FDA has noted that roughly half of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA)-certified facilities in the United States have now adopted digital mammography equipment; and according to the KLAS report, many of those who have made the switch to FFDM systems have increased their capacity for patient throughput, leading to a strong ROI for the new technology.
As one provider executive stated in the report, “Before we were digital, we had a one-year backlog of mammo exams. Now that we have digital mammo coupled with modern scheduling and a PACS, we can schedule patients the same day for diagnostic exams. For routine screenings, we can schedule patients within a week. In the past, we were losing business when we had the one-year backlog, but now things are so much more efficient.”
However, the proper environment is an important factor in gaining those benefits. “When used in conjunction with complementary technologies, in a prepared environment and with a staff committed to digital workflows, digital mammography is a definite win,” said Ben Brown, KLAS general manager of imaging informatics and author of the mammography study. “The transition does usually require both the technician and the physician to restructure their workflow, a process that reportedly can take several months; but most providers find that the efficiency gains outweigh the learning curve.”
Of the four vendors rated in the report, Hologic Selenia earned the top performance score (88.3 out of 100) by a slim margin over GE Senographe Essential (88.0). Although Hologic ultimately claimed the lead in this year’s study, the company switched places with GE several times over the last year, making a clear winner difficult to predict. The other vendor products rated in the report are FUJIFILM Aspire ClearView-CSm and Siemens MAMMOMAT NovationDR.
The report also noted that image quality is rarely a differentiator in digital mammography buying decisions or vendor performance scoring. The more critical metrics are physician preference – specifically the imaging tools, overall workflow and navigation – and service and support. Regarding the latter, the study showed that provider satisfaction is closely tied to the local coverage provided by field service engineers.
While the four vendors rated in this KLAS report currently control the digital mammography market in North America, several others wait in the wings, eagerly anticipating FDA approval and subsequent expansion into the United States. These vendors include Agfa, Carestream, Konica, Philips, Sectra and others.
To learn more about the digital mammography market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating vendors, the report Digital Mammography: Hot Market in a Cool Economy 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 www.KLASresearch.com.
The report, "Staying on Target with ERP Implementations: A Report on Healthcare Consulting Firms", reflects the experiences of 59 healthcare providers that have recently implemented or upgraded ERP software with the help of IT consultants. The study points out that the average cost of an ERP consulting engagement has dropped 77 percent in three years - from roughly $2 million in 2006 to just $450,000 today.
While the significant drop is indicative of a tough economy and tighter budgets, it also reflects that fact that most healthcare ERP engagements today are upgrades. "Seventy percent of today's ERP consulting work is in upgrades, so services firms are finding themselves in more of a supportive role at lower-cost engagements," said Mike Smith, KLAS general manager of financial and services research and author of the ERP report. "With fewer projects and even fewer large projects, some consulting firms have adapted well to the current, more tactical ERP environment of upgrades and add-on modules, while others have not."
The vast majority - more than 80 percent - of the recent ERP consulting work in healthcare is related to Lawson software, and more specifically, as a result of Lawson's decision to stop support for version 8 of its ERP system. However, as the KLAS report points out, external consultants are generally much better at implementing Lawson ERP software than Lawson itself.
"The six consulting firms implementing Lawson scored between 11 and 17 points higher in this study than Lawson scored for implementing its own products," Smith said. "With so much of the ERP work at hospitals focused on Lawson, you might expect Lawson to have a big advantage over third parties - but provider experiences have shown quite the opposite."
Providers reported that Lawson consultants were able to deliver their services on time and within budget only 69 percent of the time, compared with a 98 percent average from other firms. Further, more than half of the hospitals using Lawson's implementation services indicated that their project objectives were not met.
In contrast, large consulting firms with established practices in healthcare dominated the scoring in the KLAS ERP report. CSC topped the list of rated vendors with a performance score of 89.2 out of 100, followed by ACS at 83.9. Deloitte was also rated highly by a few provider clients. However, KLAS was not able to confirm and measure enough specific ERP implementation projects to rank Deloitte against other rated vendors. Other companies rated in the KLAS ERP implementation report include CIBER, Fujitsu, Hitachi, ISH and McKesson.
To learn more about the ERP implementation services market, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of participating firms, the report "Staying on Target with ERP Implementations: A Report on Healthcare Consulting Firms" 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 www.KLASresearch.com.