Cerner, Epic 'fall behind' upstarts in infection surveillance, KLAS says
- EHR giants Cerner and Epic "struggle to deliver needed tools" in advanced surveillance for infection control and fall behind smaller players, a new KLAS Research report surveying about 50 providers said.
- Roughly half (49%) of interviewed providers had already adopted ultraviolet disinfection equipment and 32% were considering acquiring it. Reasons cited for not using UV disinfection included equipment and staffing costs, questions about promised outcomes, machine portability and affect on room turnover.
- Two technologies covered in the report — electronic hand-hygiene monitoring and advanced surveillance tools — generate a lot of interest, but adoption is low at 14% and 24%, respectively.
Klas interviewed about 50 healthcare organizations to see what they think about infection control tools and the vendors that sell them.
For UV disinfection, Xenex got the highest marks overall, "in part because they share research-validated outcomes," according to the report. Providers rated the company "more positive" on three of five measures: workflow/ease of use, vendor support and guidance, and return on investment from infection reduction. They felt neutral on product functionality and innovation and negative about the cost.
Clorox's UV disinfection system was less well known, but considered more affordable with good vendor support and guidance. Its smaller machine was variously seen as a plus and a concern it might be less effective.
Ecolab was most highly regarded for electronic hand-hygiene monitoring. The system lets users create zones around patient beds to "capture all of World Health Organization's My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene," and provides real-time feedback via alerting and analytics, according to the report.
GOJO, DebMed, BioVigil and SwipeSense all generated some positive perceptions, but had drawbacks that Ecolab didn't have. For example, GOJO was considered strong on analytics/reporting and functionality, but seen as lacking support for the WHO guidelines.
When it comes to infection control software like active alerting and predictive analytics, providers prefer "best of breed" vendors to EHR companies, which have lagged in delivering these tools, KLAS says.
Epic's efforts on surveillance software don't match providers' expectations. Users of Cerner software cite concerns with issue resolution and accuracy and usability of reports.
The most popular software system is VigiLanz, which includes advanced automation, predictive analytics and active alerting.
Healthcare-acquired infections are a constant struggle for hospitals and health systems, jacking up costs while harming patients. At any given time, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adding to the problem is emergence of superbugs, largely due to overprescribing of antibiotics. Each year, as many as 2 million Americans acquire antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die from them — many in hospitals.
Many hospitals have adopted antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce inappropriate use, but strict infection control procedures and innovative methods are also needed to reduce HAIs as traditional cleaning programs often fall short.