What You Should Know:
– In the IT advisory space, many firms perform well, but the breadth of their expertise varies—some firms offer many services, while others focus on a specific area. KLAS’s latest report examines the breadth of firms’ validated services as well as client satisfaction and performance consistency.
– To provide better transparency into IT advisory services, KLAS has broken them into the following four segments: IT planning and assessment, revenue cycle optimization, clinical optimization, and analytics advisory services. Additionally, this report categorizes firms into four groups based on validated engagements:
1. Broadly validated (at least one validated engagement in all four segments)
2. Moderately validated (at least one validated engagement in three segments)
3. Narrowly validated (at least one validated engagement in one or two segments)
4. Software vendors that also provide IT advisory services
Trends and Insights Regarding IT Advisory Services
Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT solutions and services their organizations use. For this report, interviews were conducted over the last 27 months using KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare services, which is composed of 9 numeric rating questions and 3 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into five customer experience pillars—loyalty, operations, relationship, services, and value.
Insights into firms that are broadly validated are as follows:
Chartis Leads, Providing Most Consistently Positive Experience; Tegria & Nordic Continue to Deliver Highly Successful Projects amid Growth
Among firms that are broadly validated, Chartis and Nordic provide the most consistently high performances. The majority of Chartis respondents are highly satisfied with the firm’s extensive healthcare expertise, experience, and execution that guide them to success. Most report that they get their money’s worth. Analytics advisory clients also report accelerated analytic capabilities as a tangible outcome. Tegria has grown quickly over the last few years by acquiring firms such as Bluetree Network, Cumberland, and Navin Haffty (who were measured separately in past KLAS research). Since these acquisitions, most clients continue to report successful projects across engagement types thanks to knowledgeable consultants who offer a collaborative partnership.
About 13% of respondents note challenges; a few see gaps in the firm’s insights and question their ability to deliver actionable recommendations. Nordic is highlighted for its high performance, strong partnership, knowledgeable consultants, and quick replacements when needed. Clients report the firm has continued to provide successful engagements while growing significantly in recent years, including acquiring firms like Bails and S&P Consultants.
One respondent (3%) reported dissatisfaction. Impact Advisors clients appreciate the firm’s expertise and high-quality consultants as well as the price and lack of additional costs for scoping work. A little over 10% of respondents feel less satisfied with their experience, citing struggles with staffing and recommendations that weren’t specific enough.
Accenture Provides Value to Large Organizations; ECG Management Consultants Clients Note Inconsistencies in Consultant Quality
Accenture is known for working with very large organizations on complex projects. Clients report positive experiences, noting strengths such as a deep bench of talent and the ability to execute strategies. All respondents also state that there were no unexpected costs. Of the 11 organizations interviewed in this sample, one respondent had a less-satisfactory experience. ECG Management Consultants’ clients appreciate the high-level resources that drive tangible outcomes by partnering with organizations. Some inconsistencies exist in the client experience—15% of dissatisfied respondents mentioned challenges such as miscommunications, insufficient strategic guidance, and consultants who lack needed experience.
Insights into firms that are moderately validated are as follows:
Huron Provides Highly Rated, Consistent Experiences; Galen Healthcare & PwC (Both Limited Data) Partner with Clients & Exceed Expectations
Huron clients view the firm as a flexible, responsive partner that is easy to work with and driven by results. One of the 10 respondents reports being less satisfied, citing a need for better strategic guidance and recommendations. All interviewed clients of Galen Healthcare (limited data) would engage the firm again due to the strong partnership that helps clients complete complicated projects. These highly satisfied clients feel the firm exceeds their expectations in terms of building out reports, hitting tight timelines, and providing software knowledge. PwC (limited data) is similarly seen as a partner and exceeds most clients’ expectations regarding research capabilities, methodology, and ability to work through barriers. Clients highlight access to thought leaders and executive leaders when needed. All six respondents report being either highly satisfied or satisfied with PwC.
Clients See Pivot Point Consulting as a Partner, Note Some Staffing Misses; Deloitte Clients (Limited Data) Feel Value Is Lacking Due to High Cost
Pivot Point Consulting is seen as a partner that offers strategic guidance and a disciplined approach to mapping out projects. All interviewed clients say they would use the firm again and have experienced no unexpected costs. However, 25% of respondents report some dissatisfaction because of inconsistencies with project managers, subject matter experts, and communication. Overall, clients of Deloitte (limited data) don’t feel they receive enough value for what they perceive as an expensive price tag. Primary concerns include the need for tailored recommendations, insufficient strategic guidance, and consultants’ abilities to foster strong relationships with key stakeholders.
Insights regarding firms that are narrowly validated are as follows:
Chi-Matic and Guidehouse (Limited Data) Are Trusted Partners; Clients See Variation in Performance with Prominence and EY (Limited Data)
Started by former Epic employees, Chi-Matic offers Epic expertise and is viewed as a highly trusted partner who responds to clients’ needs, understands the software being optimized, and can identify other high-value areas for revenue cycle optimization. All respondents say they would recommend Chi-Matic and use their services again. Guidehouse’s (limited data) IT planning and assessment and revenue cycle optimization services exceed all clients’ expectations, as the firm pairs clients with seasoned experts who can strategically guide projects.
Healthlink Advisors, Huntzinger Management Group, and Softek (limited data) also perform well in their respective areas. Prominence—founded by former Epic employees—is seen as an expert in the analytics advisory space. Clients note the firm provides strategic guidance with knowledge transfer. 14% of respondents report lower satisfaction and desire more recommendations. In general, EY (limited data) clients feel the firm can provide strong execution during IT planning and assessment projects. Of the seven respondents, 29% are less satisfied with their experiences due to EY misunderstanding their organizations and problems, and another respondent didn’t receive the expected deliverables due to variation in consultant quality.