KLAS: Many docs increasingly consider replacing their ambulatory EHRs

Electronic health record vendors take note: More than a quarter of physician practices are in the market to replace their ambulatory EHRs, and others wish they could, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research. 

For the report, Ambulatory EMR Perception 2014: New Leaders Emerging as Market Shifts, KLAS interviewed more than 400 practices of different sizes. The survey revealed that 27 percent of respondents are considering replacing their EHR; another 12 percent would like to do so but are constrained for financial or organizational reasons.

"There are different reasons for this shift," report author Jared Dowland said in a statement. "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."

The report also noted that more practices moved away from GE Health Care and NextGen than other vendors; Allscripts, GE Healthcare McKesson and NextGen stand to lose more customers than other vendors. Independent practices were giving top consideration to athenahealth and eClinical Works; Epic and Cerner were capturing the eye of owned or tightly affiliated practices.

The results dovetail with other studies. A KLAS report earlier this year identified Epic, athenahealth and Greenway as leaders in the ambulatory EHR field, while Allscripts, McKesson and Vitera had the highest percentage of unhappy customers. Additional studies found that while physicians were somewhat happier with their EHRs than they used to be, many of them are very dissatisfied with their current systems.

Perhaps not surprisingly, more than 40 percent of smaller practices responding to the KLAS survey had no plans for future health IT investing in addition to their EHRs, although a small proportion were looking at portals and kiosks. Large practices looking to additional health IT expenditures were more likely to consider population health and data analytics. Less than 20 percent of larger practices were interested in health information exchange.

To learn more:
- read KLAS' announcement