KLAS Rates Epic Firms in New Special Report – What About the Little Guys?


For the bargain price of $14,000, you can now buy the just released report titled, “Epic Consulting 2014; The Bumper Crop of Epic Consulting Firms.”  The report rates 21 firms in various categories based on client survey responses.  An additional 12 firms are also showcased, although they do not qualify for rankings as they do not meet the minimum requirements for number of clients.  The big question is, what about all the other smaller boutique firms?

Smaller consulting companies aren’t included in these types of reports for two reasons.  First, they don’t want to pay the huge membership fee, it’s called overhead and causes increased bill rates and reduced salaries for employees.  Second, they would never qualify for rankings, because they focus on quality with small number of clients, not volume.  Ok, so coming from the largest Epic firm, I’ll say KLAS rating was important to me back then.  Do I sound bitter?  If it’s all about the consultant, which has always been my motto…then I was wrong to think that way even when working for the big companies.

Just today, EMR Daily News released a story stating that “experience is not a good predictor of performance for Epic consulting firms.”  I couldn’t agree more!  The story goes on to state that the number of engagements completed by a firm is not necessarily a correlation to client satisfaction of the Epic consulting services provided.  So great, 21 firms are all about volume, and pay KLAS to be a member so they can be ranked.  I’m sure that the dozens of other boutique firms not mentioned in the report provide just as high quality consultants, without the high price tag.  (I say this from experience, not just a whim).  My walk away, this report is about volume…not quality.

The last report released in 2012, Navigating the Sea of Epic Consulting Firms, ranked 15 firms.  So only 7 more firms have been added.  I was surprised that number was so low.  Companies listed in the 2012 report as Up and Coming Firms included:

Advantage Kforce
APEX MedMatica
Cumberland Modis
Dearborn Advisory Morgan Hunter
ESD Pivot Point
Health Date Specialists (HDS) Quality IT Partners
IBM Symphony
ICG TEKsystems
IHS Vonlay

What happened to these guys?  Here’s the facts folks.  There are so many firms out there touting their Epic capabilities, clients have tons of choices.  As a consultant, going with a top ranked firm may mean more project options, but certainly doesn’t mean quality.

Let me end with recognizing the winners though…in the catagory we all care about.   Orchestrate Healthcare has already released their news of being ranked #1  as the top-ranked vendor agnostic healthcare IT consulting firm.  This category is within Implementation Support and Staffing.  Probably the most coveted category as all 21 firms ranked are primarily staffing firms.  Congrats to all my colleagues at Orchestrate.

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