In about 2009, a narrative emerged in the industry about a two-horse race. That narrative continued to build momentum through the better part of the last decade, as it was assumed that Epic and Cerner would lead the industry in buying decisions due to a lack of response from other EMR vendors to develop platforms that health systems wanted to buy. The analysts promoting this narrative might have changed their tune if they could have jumped to 2023.
An unexpected challenger has come from the back, seemingly making incredible progress on the leaders and has the potential to change the two-horse-race narrative. That horse is MEDITECH. At this inflection point in healthcare, this is more important for the future of healthcare than many who read this may realize. Let me try to explain.
If you consider the current state of EHRs, it looks vastly different from a decade ago when meaningful use (MU) dollars were flowing from the government in an effort to incentivize health systems and clinics to implement digital records. Although hundreds of ambulatory EHRs existed, there were only a few notable players in the larger health systems that were striving to capture the spectrum of inpatient, outpatient, clinical, and administrative functions of the EHR. Namely Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, McKesson, MEDITECH, and Siemens.
Today, if you look at the landscape through potential buyers' eyes, you have Epic, who is still growing. Cerner, who acquired Siemens Soarian was swallowed up by Oracle last year and is in a state of redefining themselves while their customers sit in a state of serious concern for the future. Then, who else is out there? Allscripts has morphed into Veradigm, which acquired the EHR solutions of McKesson and then sold off all of its hospital solutions last year. And then there is MEDITECH - well, what about MEDITECH?
Back in 2018, as a senior researcher at KLAS, I took a crucial call from a MEDITECH client. I remember where I was; I remember because, although I was on vacation with my family, the phone call I was expecting was different, important, and one I had been chasing for a while. When the call came, I removed myself from the hotel room and stepped out into the courtyard.
I had been assigned to a team tasked with validating the reality of a new EHR platform from MEDITECH. Was the hype real? Were early customers happy? Could this be a next-generation platform that MEDITECH customers could trust and succeed on? Our job was to get answers to all these questions and more, to validate if this was the real deal or not.
This was incredibly important, as the many years of waiting by faithful MEDITECH clients rested upon the success of this new platform. If it was the real deal, then MEDITECH had an answer to this two-horse race; if not, then many loyal MEDITECH customers would need to strongly consider moving to another vendor.
"Denao, is this MEDITECH Expanse the real deal?" I asked as I jumped into the call with this CIO.
"Yes, Mitch, this is the real deal!" he said.
The other early customers who moved to MEDITECH Expanse had similar responses.
Now in 2023, this story continues to play out as customers report strong customer success scores according to KLAS Research, as well as strong retention numbers being reported by industry analysts as many MEDITECH customers on past versions are signing up for the migration to move to MEDITECH Expanse.
OK, coming full circle on the current market landscape, If MEDITECH wouldn’t have come out with MEDITECH Expanse when they did, nor developed, implemented, and scaled this product as well as they have thus far, then a potential buyer’s choice would be Epic. The narrative would have changed to a one-horse race narrative and monopolies are not good for most industries, healthcare included.
This is really an incredible story - a true comeback story, a come-from-behind story, a story worth telling, a story worth telling differently. But first, I had to learn more. So, for a week in March, I traveled with my crew to Canton, MA, MEDITECH’s headquarters to learn how it all came to be.
This first video is one episode in a four-part series diving deep into the leadership principles and values that it takes to evolve in an ever-changing healthcare landscape, to develop, deliver, and support technology that empowers the next generation of care teams as they care for patients.
I hope you enjoy it, but more importantly, I hope you learn something that you can take back to your team, whether you work within a health system, for a technology firm, service firm, government, or the many other stakeholder institutions that are trying to change healthcare for the better. Because at the heart of this story is a case study of transformation, evolution, and change that we can all learn from.
Follow Health Data Management's MEDITECH's Might page for future episodes in this series.