Feature | Cardiovascular Information Systems (CVIS) | December 06, 2021 | Monique Rasband, Emily Paxman and Sam Eaquinto

Cardiology Information Systems Overview in 2021 

KLAS report says there is opportunity for market disruption

Change Healthcare's web-based CVIS enables remote viewing of echo images and reports. Web-enabled and cloud-native systems have become popular options for new CVIS replacement systems because it is easier to use and opens up access to the cardiac reporting and imaging system.

Change Healthcare's web-based CVIS enables remote viewing of echo images and reports. Web-enabled and cloud-native systems have become popular options for new CVIS replacement systems because it is easier to use and opens up access to the cardiac reporting and imaging system. 

While enterprise imaging (EI) is on healthcare organizations’ minds, many currently use multiple vendors for different imaging needs. For cardiology in particular, organizations frequently must piece together multiple systems to meet their structured reporting needs. Today, a number of organizations are replacing their legacy cardiology solutions and/or evaluating cardiology in the context of their long-term EI strategy. This includes structured reporting in the cardiology information system (CVIS).

In interviews KLAS conducted with end-users, no cardiology offering stands out with great customer satisfaction. Each of the last three years has seen a different vendor win "Best in KLAS" for cardiology. This report examines 38 recent cardiology purchase decision and the factors driving these decisions.

Purchase considerations are spread across many vendors, but Philips (considered in 39% of measured decisions), IBM Watson Health (also at 39%), and Fujifilm (at 34%) are most commonly considered. Philips and IBM are each chosen or indicated as the likely choice in roughly one-third of decisions where they are considered.

Several interviewed organizations have either selected Philips IntelliSpace Cardiovascular or say it is their likely choice. Integration and vendor expertise are common drivers in these decisions. Many considerations of Philips come from the vendor’s large legacy Xcelera customer base. Two of the six organizations who have chosen/will likely choose IntelliSpace are prior Xcelera customers, and the rest are moving from Agfa HealthCare (two), ScImage (one), or GE (one).

Philips is up for possible replacement by several existing clients, mostly Xcelera users who say the product will no longer be supported. Two possible replacements are from IntelliSpace customers, both looking to consolidate their cardiology vendors; one also mentioned UX issues and insufficient support.

The major factors for organizations that choose IBM Watson Health for cardiology include integration, functionality, and prior experience with the vendor. With their full enterprise imaging suite, IBM is often considered by larger organizations and others hoping to consolidate their imaging vendors. When IBM is considered but not chosen, respondents cite reasons including price, physician preference, and hesitancy about IBM’s acquisition of Merge. The handful of current clients looking to replace IBM cite poor vendor/client relationships.

Fujifilm is considered in about one-third of decisions but was only selected once in this research sample. This single organization appreciated the solution’s ease of use and cardiologists’ ability to read studies from anywhere. When Fuji is not selected, respondents often cite clinician preference for other solutions. Fuji has been ramping up their new platform for quite some time — a few providers have spoken to KLAS about the beta experience, but no live customers have yet been validated. Some organizations are optimistic about the new version, while others feel Fuji has been too slow to deliver.

Agfa HealthCare, GE Healthcare & Change Healthcare See Less Momentum

Five interviewed organizations are considering replacing Agfa HealthCare; these clients are on the legacy IMPAX Cardiovascular solution and report strained relationships as a result of past negative experiences. No respondents in KLAS’ Decision Insights data have selected or indicate they are likely to select Agfa, though KLAS has validated several newer customers in our performance research. GE Healthcare replacements are mainly for their legacy DMS solution. Reasons cited include prior experience, relationships, and cost. GE Healthcare’s newer cardiology platform (Centricity Cardiology Enterprise Solution) generates higher satisfaction from live customers. Organizations looking to replace Change Healthcare would like to consolidate cardiology vendors and are aiming to avoid challenges integrating with Epic.

When Using Epic it is Often in Combination With a Third-Party CVIS 

EMR vendor Epic's cardiology solution Cupid lacks a cardiology archive and structured reporting, but is typically chosen for its integration with the Epic EMR enterprise suite. The vendor also has a culture of partnering with third-party vendors with more in-depth cardiology reporting and workflows. ScImage was selected by several smaller hospitals (less than 400 beds) for cardiology imaging storage. The reasons include price and, according to doctors, the system’s simplicity and ease of use.

Integration, Functionality and Cardiologist Preference Drive CVIS Selections and Replacements

Organizations making purchase decisions most often cite integration and functionality/technology as major factors influencing their decisions. Cardiologist preference is another key factor, affecting almost 20% of validated purchases — a much higher rate compared to other types of solutions KLAS measures. 

Respondents offer several different reasons for wanting to replace their current solution. Many hope to get improved functionality, especially in structured reporting. Others aim to consolidate the number of vendors they deal with by moving to an enterprise suite. Several organizations report their current products are nearing their end of life. Some others are dissatisfied with their current experience and their vendor relationship. 

Use of Epic Cupid is Largely Limited to Scheduling and Registry Reporting

Epic's Cupid Cardiology system is considered by KLAS to be a component product because Epic does not currently offer a cardiology PACS. KLAS said many customers use the Epic cardiology system not as their CVIS, but as an extension of the EMR and other cardiology tools. Gaps in structured reporting result in many organizations supplementing with other vendors. Prospective clients say Epic is up front about the product’s capabilities and the build effort required by organizations who leverage Cupid for structured reporting. KLAS said many would appreciate more product development and more complete templates.

Current customers mostly using Epic for scheduling and registry reporting. They cite integration as the main satisfier. Some feel Epic has not sufficiently developed the product and that it still lacks needed functionality. Some clients also feel they do not get their money’s worth.


Find additional insights from the KLAS information organized by vendor and what size organizations chose which CVIS vendor cabn be found in the full KLAS 2021 CVIS report

Find the "best in KLAS" for cardiology rankings for 2021 and other years (links at the bottom of the page) 

About the authors: Monique Rasband, Emily Paxman and Sam Eaquinto are memebrs of the KLAS research and analyist teams that create reports on what end-user hospitals and clinics think about of various health IT technologies they have implements or decided to replace. For more information on KLAS visit https://klasresearch.com/.


Related CVIS Content:

Advances in PACS and Cardiology Information Systems at HIMSS 2021

8 Essential Steps for a Successful CVIS or PACS Implementation

VIDEO: Examples of Improved PACS Workflow to Aid Speed and Efficiency 

VIDEO: Cardiology AI Aggregates Patient Data and Enables Interactive Risk Assessments

Improving Consistency and Standardization With Structured Reporting

VIDEO: Example of Epsilon Strain Imaging Deep Integration With Siemens CVIS

Photo Gallery of New Technologies at HIMSS 2021

VIDEO: Importance of Body Part Labeling in Enterprise Imaging — Interview with Alex Towbin, M.D.

VIDEO: Coordinating Followup for Radiology Incidental Findings — Interview with David Danhauer, M.D.

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