Measurement of Healthcare Information Technology Vendor Performance

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With the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $19 billion has been designated as funds for the healthcare information technology (HIT) sector. (1) These financial incentives have made implementation and adoption of an electronic medical records (EMR) system a top priority for healthcare organizations and practices. However, the delay in establishing the “meaningful use” criteria to qualify for these funds has created a sense of urgency for healthcare organizations to purchase, implement, and adopt an EMR system. (2) With the number of vendors in the market, many healthcare organizations have turned to research firms to seek guidance in choosing the ideal EMR system for their practice.

KLAS (pronounced like “class”) is an independently owned and operated research company whose mission is to ‘improve healthcare technology delivery by honestly, accurately, and impartially measuring vendor performance for our provider partners.’ It is named after its four founders: Kent Gale, Leonard Black, Adam Gale, and Scott Holbrook. KLAS focuses solely on the healthcare technology industry, specifically software, services firms, and medical equipment. Through standardized evaluations of products and confidential telephone interviews, data is aggregated, averaged, statistically analyzed, and made available via performance databases, specialty reports, and advisory services/custom research. KLAS publishes a Top 20 report that lists the top-scoring products and vendors for a specific healthcare segment. The Best in KLAS Award is given annually to a vendor or product that scores the highest in its industry segment. The data obtained from KLAS is intended to be used as an adjunct to an organization’s own evaluative process when surveying EMR systems or by vendors for internal quality improvement projects. KLAS data is not meant as a replacement to an organization’s or vendor’s own review of a product. (3)


1. American Medical Association. H.R. 1, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”: explanation of health information technology (HIT) provisions. [Online] 2009. Available from: [Accessed 12 May 2010].

2. Wagner M. Ambulatory EMR buying: a roller coaster ride in 2010. [Online] March 10, 2010. Available from: [Accessed 18 May 2010].

3. KLAS. [Accessed 18 May 2010].

Submitted by P. Nelson Le, M.D.