Dairyland Healthcare Solutions - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Dairyland Healthcare Solutions

625 South Lakeshore Drive
Glenwood, Minnesota 56334

Company Perspectives:

Dairyland is committed to providing highly functional, cost effective information systems, as well as the highest level of service possible to our customers. Further, we are committed to the continual improvement of our products and services to help ensure our customers can deliver on their vision of providing care to their respective communities.

History of Dairyland Healthcare Solutions

Dairyland Healthcare Solutions (DHS) is a leading national provider of comprehensive computer information systems for community healthcare facilities. Located in the heart of "Dairyland" in the central Minnesota town of Glenwood (approximately 100 miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area), Dairyland develops computer software systems for small and mid-sized hospitals as well as their affiliated clinics, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare services. The company's client base extends to 38 states across the country. With a product line that integrates financial and clinical applications, Dairyland helps customers more effectively and efficiently manage their information, operations, and patient care. The company has satellite offices in Louisville, Kentucky, and Lafayette, Louisiana, as well as staff members working in several other states to ensure expedient delivery of its products and software support. That commitment to customer service is a big part of what earned the company national industry recognition when it was given a "Best in KLAS" rating in the category of community hospital information systems by KLAS Enterprises. KLAS Enterprises is a nationally recognized and respected independent organization that evaluates healthcare information technology.

1980: Bringing Technology to Rural America

Steve Klick founded Dairyland Computer and Consulting Company in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, in 1980. At the time, personal computers (PCs) were just entering the market, and the computer industry was in its infancy in the small business sector. Then working as a computer audit specialist, Klick saw the potential for technology in the small business market. His initial vision was to bring technology to small business, providing "turnkey computer systems and consulting services to the rural marketplace."

Klick started out in Sauk Centre as a consultant, helping small business owners determine the best hardware and software packages. Eventually he realized that he could develop better software systems himself and could tailor programs specifically to each customers' needs. Within two years, Klick's company created 12 software prototypes. He had initially focused on the agricultural market. But working closely with Glacial Ridge Hospital in nearby Glenwood, Klick developed systems to manage the financial/billing side of the healthcare business.

As the PC market began to take hold, Dairyland Computer and Consulting Company found customers throughout rural America. By 1985 Dairyland had 52 customers in four midwestern states. The company's software and hardware packages focused on the financial needs of small business operations.

Late 1980s: Steady Growth Throughout the Midwest

In need of a larger space to accommodate the company's growing staff of nearly 30 employees, Dairyland Computer and Consulting moved to nearby Glenwood, Minnesota, in 1987. The new company headquarters was a brand new 12,000-square-foot facility overlooking Lake Minnewaska. By this time Klick's company had developed hardware-software packages to distribute nationally for hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, and implement dealers. The company also developed systems for implement dealers and distributors and construction firms by working closely with various local companies.

At the time, Dairyland had installed systems for businesses in 13 states with additional sales pending in another seven states. It also set up small offices in Sydney, Nebraska; Spokane, Washington; and outside Tucson, Arizona. The firm's presence in Nebraska was the result of Dairyland acquiring a company there named Business Computers Assistance.

Dairyland had always placed customer service as a top priority. In the new Glenwood facility it was able to offer 24-hour service. The larger facility also gave Dairyland staff ample space to test systems on hardware there, prior to installing systems at the customer site. Dairyland technicians would not only install systems at a customer's facility, they would also conduct onsite training for new clients.

During the early 1990s, Dairyland continued to grow, finding most of its success in the healthcare market. By 1994 the company employed 75 people, most at the Glenwood headquarters. The existing garage space had been converted into needed office space. Growth required a new 48- by 90-foot addition to the facility, which would facilitate storage and shipping.

Early 1990s: Enhancing Systems and Training to Meet Changing Industry Needs

Each summer since the mid-1980s, Dairyland hosted a three-day conference for its system users from all over the country, providing training and retraining to customers. The company was committed to helping users get the most from their systems, but also encouraged customers to look forward in the rapidly changing healthcare field. Conference literature noted that "Industry trends are also examined in an effort to make rural healthcare a strong and viable part of our nation's economy."

By 1995, Dairyland had 291 customers in 24 states. By this time the company had developed clinical applications to complement and integrate with the financial systems. Annual sales figures for the company reached $15 million, and projections for the following year were $20 million. Dairyland was featured in Minnesota Technology magazine in 1996, where the company was described as the "nation's largest installer of software and computer services in hospitals with 100 beds or fewer. Dairyland's hospital management system tracks finances, materials, management patient care systems, medical records, nursing systems, practice management home health systems. Perhaps more important, it is designed and serviced with the limited resources of rural hospitals in mind."

Late 1990s: Strengthening National Presence Through Acquisitions and Partnerships

During the mid- to late 1990s, Dairyland expanded its national presence through a number of acquisitions, but the company maintained its focus on its core products. Purchasing smaller firms in Louisville, Kentucky, and Abbeville, Louisiana, helped the company increase its scope in both the medical and agricultural markets. Dairyland also entered into collaborative agreements with other firms to develop software and offer customer support. The medical division surpassed $15 million in sales by 1997. The company also enhanced its customer service focus by becoming an IBM business partner, and better serving the hardware and software needs of clients. The partnership gave Dairyland the ability to help customers leverage hardware support from IBM as well as system support.

In 1998 Dairyland acquired Integrated Health Systems, Inc. of La Jolla, California, resulting in the company changing its name temporarily to Integrated Health Systems-Dairyland. The California company had served a slightly larger hospital market with from 100 to 500 beds. Dairyland continued to succeed and grow by evolving and adapting to the changing market needs.

In 1998 Klick stepped back from day to day management of the company so he could instead focus on future growth and keep up with the rapidly changing industry. The company focused on harnessing the potential of the Internet in its systems as well as helping customers prepare for any Y2K glitches. According to a 1999 article in the Pope County Tribune, Klick's vision was to help create a healthcare system in which "all providers of health care services shared a common data base of information about patients."

1999-2000: Focusing on the Healthcare Market and Its Future

Dairyland's total sales reached $27 million by 1999. The company's primary products were the Vision 6000 system, created to meet the needs of hospitals with fewer than 150 beds. The company also offered and supported the Vision 400 for hospitals up to 500 beds, as well as the clinical package named Vision 2000, which integrated easily with both software systems. Dairyland put increasing emphasis and resources on developing clinical products to augment financial systems.

In 2001, Dairyland's leaders decided it was time to officially change the company's name in order to communicate more clearly its focus on the healthcare market. The new name was Dairyland Healthcare Solutions (DHS); previously, "healthcare" had never been part of the name. The company decided to keep "Dairyland" as part of the name because it was widely recognized and highly respected in the healthcare industry because of its excellent reputation.

2003: Recognized Nationally As an Industry Leader

Dairyland's highly regarded position in the industry was validated in 2003 when the company won a first place, "Best in KLAS" rating in the category of community hospital information systems by KLAS Enterprises. The recognition was based on feedback from healthcare executives about corporate and product performance details. KLAS Enterprises was established to provide the healthcare information technology industry with objective evaluation and facts about vendors via surveys of CEOs and IT officers in the healthcare field.

The company repeated the "Best in KLAS" distinction again in 2004, garnering first or second place ratings in 33 out of 40 measures of performance. Some of the performance indicators where DHS rated high were "executive's interest in you, lived up to expectations, telephone support, costs as expected, quality of releases and updates, commitment to technology, quality of training, documentation, and fair contract." J.P. Wenslick, publisher of HIT Strategies Newsletter, wrote "Dairyland offers an extraordinary range of applications to smaller ... healthcare providers at prices they can afford. ... KLAS ranked them number one in this space over QuadraMed, Meditech, HMS and CPSI."

DHS had developed nine clinical products and 23 financial products, all integrated to enhance flow of information, reduce errors, and save time in delivery of high quality medical care. The products also easily linked records from affiliated health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities and even home healthcare.

By 2005 DHS had approximately 400 customers in 38 states. The company was an industry leader in allowing community and specialty hospitals to meet their information systems needs. Dairyland clearly dominated the market throughout the Midwest, especially in its home state of Minnesota where 55 healthcare facilities were DHS customers. The company also led the markets in Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

2005: Continuing a Strong Tradition of Customer Service

Much of Dairyland's growth came from referrals from satisfied customers. Working closely with longtime customers allowed Dairyland to refine existing products and develop new systems. The company's commitment to remaining on the cutting edge was evident in that DHS released software upgrades regularly, integrating industry changes as well as recommendations and suggestions from customers.

The company's biggest challenges were managing growth and attracting and retaining high caliber employees. Company leaders expected continued growth in the Midwest, Southwest, and West. Dairyland was committed to the small and mid-sized community healthcare market, its focus for more than 20 years. Customers appreciated that the company was not trying to serve multiple market segments.

The company hoped to delve deeper into developing more information system solutions for doctors, nurses, and technicians. DHS was also working on developing a system for web-based personal health records, which could be accessed by individuals and would include more complete information than a clinic would maintain on an individual patient. Dairyland saw the benefits of this system in automating clinical data, reducing medical errors, tracking drug interactions, and more.

Dairyland executives believed they were well positioned to meet the future demands of the healthcare industry. They were especially committed to helping customers meet the requirements that might be forthcoming relating to the federal government's Electronic Health Records Initiative. DHS continued to monitor the status of the federal initiative, keep its customers informed, and remain prepared to address requirements through any existing or newly developed applications.

Principal Competitors: Medical Information Technology, Inc.; Computer Programs and Systems, Inc.; Health Management Solutions, Inc.; QuadraMed Corporation.


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