KLAS Enterprises
View Membership Options

The KLAS Difference

KLAS has been described in various publications as a Consumer Reports (CR) for healthcare IT products. While the comparison is flattering, KLAS is more similar to J.D. Power and Associates (JDP) than CR. This distinction is important to understanding how KLAS pursues its mission to benefit providers.

Where CR, JDP, and KLAS are similar is in their value to customers. Just as individuals trust CR and JDP to inform purchasing decisions, KLAS is fortunate that hospitals similarly trust us. Just as manufacturers use CR and JDP to guide them in improving their products, we are fortunate that HIT vendors similarly use KLAS.

CR is very different from JDP and KLAS, however, in the way it delivers its value. CR employs people who assess products subjectively. If vacuum cleaners are on the schedule, CR employees go into a lab and physically use each vacuum cleaner and then write about their own experiences and their resulting personal opinions.

In contrast, no one at JDP or KLAS personally tests products, nor do they express opinions about products based on personal experiences. JDP and KLAS collect, aggregate, and publish satisfaction data provided by product users. KLAS focuses on the HIT industry, while JDP focuses on consumer goods, such as cars.

KLAS 3 step process

This methodology distinction is critical because it determines what is appropriate business practice.

CR’s value is based on unbiased, subjective assessments of consumer products by their employees. Accepting donations, payments, or advertising from product manufacturers introduces bias because the money is going to the very people whose opinions are published.

We get paid for aggregating    

In contrast, JDP and KLAS make no subjective assessments. We perform the work required to aggregate the data, and we pay for this work by charging others for accessing the aggregated data. This creates transparency into the customers’ opinions of products and vendors, not JDP’s or KLAS‘ opinions.

In the case of JDP, carmakers pay to access JDP’s data about what customers think of their and competing manufacturers’ cars. There is no conflict in this relationship because the payments are to access data that cannot be biased – that is, it has already been collected and comes from the customers, not from JDP.

In the case of KLAS, HIT product vendors pay to access KLAS‘ data. In fact, many entities pay KLAS for such access, including hospitals, physicians, investment banks, private equity groups, venture capital firms, insurance companies, the U.S. government, and market research firms. They all have access to the same data, none of which are generated or modified by KLAS – we just collect it.

To be clear, KLAS charges all of these groups to access the data, but we don’t charge them all the same amount. For example, if you are a hospital and want access to KLAS data, we ask you to fill out surveys on products of your choosing. If you do so, KLAS reduces your fee for accessing the data. We do this because a hospital’s survey response is valuable – more customer data means a more accurate picture of vendor performance.

It is reasonable to wonder whether there is a correlation between a vendor’s payment to KLAS and that vendor’s scores. Across all vendors, those paying money to KLAS score, on average, 79.6 while those not paying money to KLAS score, on average, 80.0.

  We just collect it

That means vendors paying to access KLAS data actually score lower than vendors who do not pay KLAS. If KLAS data are susceptible to biased manipulation caused by such payments, this trend does not make any sense at all.

KLAS Aver Score: Non-Subscribed Vendors Vs. Subscribed Vendors  

If KLAS data are a reflection of customer satisfaction, however, this makes complete sense. Most vendors want to make customers happy and seek information to help them do so. Vendors with lower scores, therefore, pay to access KLAS data to help them understand how to make customers happier.

Indeed, providers have repeatedly, clearly, and loudly indicated to KLAS that they want us to get their data into as many vendors’ hands as possible. These data are the collective voice of customers and are a roadmap for vendors to understand customers’ specific likes and dislikes related to the vendors’ own products and their competitors.

Our mission is to help as many vendors as possible understand this roadmap so that they can be successful in making customers happy, because that is what the providers want.

Lastly, we would like to address a word used about KLAS in various settings that is very important to us—“transparency.” KLAS‘ view on transparency is encapsulated in our tagline, “Accurate, Honest, Impartial.”

We take great pains to ensure accurate capture, honest aggregation, and impartial publication of customer data. Our process to ensure this has been documented and audited by an internationally recognized law firm, Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP. This vigilance ensures that KLAS provides a transparent window into what users actually think of products.

Vendors pay to access