News Feature | September 9, 2013

1 In 6 EHR Users Considering Switching

Source: Health IT Outcomes
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

HTO Survey

A poll by Black Book Rankings found many providers are leaving their current EMR systems for web based alternatives

Health IT Outcomes writes, “Healthcare providers have never had a “romantic” relationship with EHRs. On the contrary, many physicians despise the technology. However, the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use (MU) incentives did create an environment of unprecedented EHR demand among the provider community. This initiative achieved the desired result of increasing EHR adoption, but it also created an artificial market for dozens of immature EHR products.”

Health IT Outcomes cites  Black Book Rankings2013 State of the Ambulatory EHR Market report which notes, “Nearly 17,000 active EHR users uncovered 1 in 6 medical practices could switch out their first choice EHR by year's end. Remarkably, the majority of frustrated system users blame themselves for not properly assessing practice needs before selecting their first EHR vendor with the narrow goal of receiving government incentives." The survey concluded, “With unmet expectations in system features, implementations, deliverables, and client support issues mounting, up to 17% of all currently implemented physician practices gear up for changing out solutions, in what may become the Year of the Great EHR Vendor Switch.”

Black Book’s managing partner, Dan Brown, says the study’s results indicate “meaningful use incentives created an artificial market for dozens of immature EHR products.” The survey also revealed “some popular ‘one size fits all’ EHR products have not met the needs of several specialists and cannot continue to satisfy their client base with a lack of customizable or bespoke tools.”

Supporting the declaring 2013 as the Year of the Great EHR Vendor Switch are indications the generality of EHR programs turned many providers off who were looking for a customizable experience. Eighty percent of vendors switching EHRs said top reason was because their current EHR’s performance did not meet their practice’s needs, while 77 percent also responded that their EHR’s design did not meet their practice or specialty’s needs.

Fifty-one percent of providers who stated they were dissatisfied with their EHR system told Black Book they would prefer a web-based system. A press release from Practice Fusion, a cloud based EMR provider, listed trends of EHR switches uncovered by their own research. They found, “One in four new users joining Practice Fusion are switching from an existing EMR (and) 31 percent of EMR users surveyed in the Brown-Wilson report said they were considering an EMR switch, with 17 percent planning to switch in the next year.”

Healthcare IT News summarized Black Book’s findings, writing, “The independent insight gathered indicates that many EHR vendors have been preoccupied with backlogged implementations and selling product that development issues have been neglected as a priority. Most concerning to current EHR users are unmet pleas for sophisticated interfaces with other practice programs, complex connectivity and networking schemes, pacing with accountable care progresses and the rapid EHR adoption of mobile devices, the survey finds.”