Ambulatory practices considering more EHR vendors than ever

May 13, 2010

Physician practices are considering an ever-increasing number of software vendors when it comes to choosing an electronic health record, according to a new report from KLAS, a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors.

Physician practices are considering an ever-increasing number of software vendors when it comes to choosing an electronic health record (EHR), according to a new report from KLAS, a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors.

For the new report, Ambulatory EMR Buying: A Roller Coaster Ride in 2010, KLAS interviewed more than 370 healthcare providers who plan to choose an EHR solution in the next two years. KLAS found that providers are increasing their pool of considered vendors and including lesser-known options. This is especially true for small practices with one to five physicians, where 72 percent are considering solutions outside the best-known vendors. In similar fashion, larger practices are also considering vendors that have traditionally serviced smaller organizations.

"The vendors with the largest market share-companies like Allscripts, NextGen and eClinicalWorks-are considered the most often in purchasing decisions," said Mark Wagner, KLAS' general manager of ambulatory research and author of the new report. "What's interesting, however, is the number of smaller vendors, such as athenahealth, e-MDs and Greenway, which are getting more looks, even from practices that are larger than their typical clients."

The KLAS report also found that nearly one-third of providers planning an EHR purchase are actually replacing an existing solution. Further, one-half of the providers planning a switch are doing so because their current EHR lacks functionality or certification.

The ambulatory EHR vendors providers are considering varies significantly depending on practice size. Overall, Allscripts EHR products (including Enterprise, Professional, Misys and MyWay) are being collectively considered in 35 percent of purchase decisions, more often than any other vendor's products. Allscripts was followed by NextGen (considered in 32 percent of planned purchases) and eClinicalWorks (29 percent). Other vendors cited in the KLAS report as drawing provider interest include athenahealth, Cerner, e-MDs, Eclipsys, Epic, GE, Greenway, McKesson and Sage.

Ambulatory EMR Buying: A Roller Coaster Ride in 2010 is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can click here.