EHR selection: These programs get the most looks

March 14, 2008

Provider organizations looking to buy an ambulatory electronic health record give the most consideration to products from eClinicalWorks, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, and Allscripts, according to IT research firm KLAS Enterprises.

Provider organizations looking to buy an ambulatory electronic health record give the most consideration to products from eClinicalWorks, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, and Allscripts, according to a February report from IT research firm KLAS Enterprises.

The KLAS report, titled Ambulatory EMR Perception, took the pulse of physicians, nurses, chief information officers, managers and others in provider groups (EMR, or electronic medical record, is often used as a synonym for EHR). Among groups in the market for an EHR, NextGen, eClinicalWorks, and Allscripts were in a virtual dead heat for first place, with each cited as a contender by almost 30 percent of survey respondents. Allscripts had two products in the running-TouchWorks and Healthmatics, the latter aimed at smaller practices-while its two main rivals each fielded one.

KLAS also asked clinicians and administrators in groups that weren’t shopping for an EHR-the vast majority already possessed one-what programs they’d look at on a hypothetical basis. When KLAS combined their responses with those from actual shoppers, Allscripts pulled away from the pack, making the short list of 27 percent. eClinicalWorks and NextGen followed at 22 percent and 21 percent respectively.

According to provider feedback summarized in the report, the Allscripts programs cover a broad range of medical specialists and group sizes and enjoy a reputation for gaining early acceptance from physician-users. One perceived negative is the lack of a single database for the company’s EHR and practice management programs. Experts say such software architecture improves a program’s performance.

Positives that providers cited for eClinicalWorks are “price, depth of functionality, and ease of use,” although survey results indicated “some softening in support and service satisfaction among participants.”

The NextGen EHR also garnered praise for its functionality, and KLAS notes that like eClinicalWorks, the vendor has built its EHR and practice management systems on a single data base On the negative side, providers indicated that the NextGen program can be daunting to implement, while its cost can be higher than expected.

To purchase this KLAS report, click here . You can look up individual vendor ratings at the website free of charge by completing an online survey on software, medical equipment, or IT professional services that you use. For information on completing a KLAS survey, click here or call 1-800-920-4109.

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