Given their limited resources, small hospitals must search for a health IT solution which presents a low barrier to implementation, ease of adoption, is low cost to maintain, and places minimal IT support burden on the client.
Many solutions marketed specifically to critical access hospitals are integrated clinical/financial platforms. The rise of remote-hosted web applications as a delivery model promises to reduce the total cost of ownership, mitigates IT staff turnover, and places the IT burden back on the vendor.
Some large hospital Health IT and EHR vendors (Cerner, Allscripts) are moving downstream into the community hospital space, but they have yet to make a material impact in the critical access market. The enticement of these offerings is a proven track record of clinical functionality. This means that current vendors specializing in marketing to small hospitals will need to enhance their offerings and accelerate clinical adoption in order to help their clients meet Meaningful Use requirements in the face of competition from sophisticated large hospital health IT solutions.
Next up, I’ll look at which EHR and Health IT vendors seem to be doing well in the small hospital space.
Chris O’Neal is Managing Partner at KATALUS Advisors. KATALUS Advisors is a strategic consulting firm focused on the healthcare vertical. We serve healthcare technology vendors, hospitals, and private equity groups in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Our services span growth strategies in new and existing markets, M&A due diligence, market analysis, and advisory services. www.KATALUSadvisors.com