Recently, KLAS health care information technology research company, released a report on how physician practices feel about their electronic health records (EHR). The title of the report is Ambulatory EMR Perception 2014: New Leaders Emerging as Market Shifts. For the study, KLAS interviewed more than 400 ambulatory practices of varied sizes. The results may cause sellers of electronic health records some discomfort.
According to the survey, 27 percent of respondents were looking into changing their electronic health record system. An additional 12 percent want a change, but cannot change at the moment due to organizational and financial considerations.
The report uncovered that four major vendors; GE Healthcare, McKesson, NextGen, and Allscripts were the biggest losers with more of their customers wanting to change systems than any other vendors. These four EHR vendors face losing between 40% and 50% of their installed base according to the new data. One major issue customers expressed are how well prepared these vendors are for meaningful use.
Replacement vendors that were being considered by larger independent medical practices were eClinicalWorks and Athenahealth. Practices that were owned or tightly affiliated were looking closely at Epic and Cerner.
These findings closely correlate with earlier studies. KLAS published a study earlier in the year that named Greenway, Epic, and Athenahealth as front-runners for electronic health records in ambulatory physician practices. That study also found that McKesson, Allscripts, and Vitera have the highest number of dissatisfied users.
The latest KLAS study also looked at the potential for further HIT investment by physicians. KLAS discovered that more than 40 percent of small practices responding to the survey have no interest in further investments in their electronic health records. A small number are exploring expansion of their EHRs by adding kiosks and portals.
Of the larger practices, those planning on other expenditures for IT are not looking at expanding electronic health records, but have interests in using the data they collect by investing in population health and data analytics. Less than one-fifth of large medical practices had an interest in Health Information Exchange (HIE).
The report was authored by Jared Dowland of KLAS. Dowland, discussing the report findings remarked:
“There are different reasons for this shift. Larger practices are seeking to consolidate from multiple EMRs and tighten their relationships with nearby hospitals, while smaller practices are seeking to resolve functionality, support, and cost concerns.”
According to the survey, the top reasons that large and midsize practices want replacement electronic medical records are:
- Extend Acute Care EMR to Clinics – 25 percent
- Standardization – 25 percent
- Functionality/Usability – 23 percent
The top three reasons that small practice want to make a change:
- Functionality/Usability – 30 percent
- Poor Support/Service – 27 percent
- Cost/Financial Incentives – 22 percent
Regardless of the reasons for EHR changes, medical practices should make sure they are asking the proper questions.
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