1 year after Cerner/Siemens deal: Soarian decline continues, PowerChart performing well

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Health information technology (HIT) company Cerner made headlines in August 2014 when it announced its  planned acquisition of Siemens Health Services for $1.3 billion in cash. The acquisition was  finalized in February 2015, almost exactly one year ago, and a  new report from research firm KLAS examines the deal’s impact on both brands.

One of the biggest effects of the acquisition, according to the report, is that that nearly nine out of ten organizations currently using Cerner’s Soarian Clinicals EMR are considering a change.

“Cerner’s acquisition of Siemens touches the foundational HIT systems of hundreds of provider organizations and has Soarian customers on an accelerated path to an EMR change,” Coray Tate, vice president of clinical research at KLAS, said in a prepared statement. “Patient accounting customers are hoping the vendors’ historically weak financial systems will become stronger together.”

Tate explained in the report that a lack of development and poor customer support have Soarian customers viewing it as “an orphaned product.”

Sixty-four percent of the customers who say they are moving on from Soarian Clinicals said they plan on leaving by the end of 2016. Another 21.5 percent said they will make the switch in 2017/2018, with 2.5 percent answering that they will leave sometime after 2018.

In the past, customers wanting to move on from Soarian Clinicals would often consider Epic, a direct competitor of Cerner. Now, however, customers seem interested in moving to Cerner’s own PowerChart product. This revelation, Tate said, comes as a bit of a surprise.

“It typically takes 12–18 months for the impact of an acquisition to be registered in a vendor’s performance scores, but if there are problems, providers will begin to talk about them well before the scores change,” Tate wrote. “In the ratings and comments from PowerChart users, KLAS does not see any indicators that would signal an impending drop in satisfaction. PowerChart customers continue to report a positive experience that has been largely unaffected by the acquisition, and they remain optimistic about the future.”