Community and mid-size hospitals arguably have the greatest number of choices for enterprise HIT solutions. Critical access hospitals have a small, but growing, selection of vendors which can deliver clinical applications at an affordable price point. Large IDNs are limited to a select group of vendors which have the resources and IT architecture which can scale to high volume environments and advanced requirements.
The middle of the market benefits from technologies originally designed for the larger and smaller ends of the spectrum. Community hospitals have several options to sift through: large and complex hospital solutions being adapted for the community space, a product built specifically for community hospitals, or a small hospital solution that is gaining attention from mid-size institutions. This document will discuss the middle of the HIT market and the options available to hospitals there.
Challenges and Opportunities
The smaller community hospitals have budgetary constraints which are more restrictive, thus their preferences are heavily impacted by price and contract structure, yet they are forced to implement solutions which can help them achieve clinical milestones for meaningful use; solutions which often require the utilization of consultants and implementation services in order to augment (typically) scarce internal IT resources.
Despite these challenges the mid-size and community hospital space has become a prime market, and thus burgeoning with options, for enterprise HIT vendors due to a combination of available budget and market turnover.
The Middle Ground
This large group of community and mid-size hospitals covers a broad swath of the HIT landscape. Because of their wide-ranging (albeit nuanced) demographic, they are caught in the middle of two forces:
- Vendors with solutions initially tailored for smaller hospitals moving up to larger community hospitals.
- Vendors with the more complex, large hospital solutions moving down into the community space and adapting delivery models.
In our next post, we’ll take a look at which EHR solutions fit the market and what’s on the horizon for community and Mid-Size hospitals.
Guest Post: Jeremy Bikman is Chairman at KATALUS Advisors, a strategic consulting firm focused on the healthcare vertical. We help vendors grow, guide hospitals into the future, and advise private equity groups on their investments. Our clients are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. www.KATALUSadvisors.com