KLAS: Three EHR vendors lead the pack

Physician practices, take note: while many vendors of ambulatory electronic health records are struggling to keep up with the Meaningful Use requirements, Epic, athenahealth and Greenway are "on top" and have "separated themselves from the rest of the field," according to the latest report from Orem, Utah-based research firm KLAS.

For the report, "Ambulatory EMR (11-75 physicians) Can any Vendor Set a High Standard?" KLAS interviewed clinicians and IT personnel at mid-sized practices. The three top vendors distinguished themselves in different ways: Epic for consistent delivery in large hospital-based practices; athenahealth for its "nimble deployment" and frequent updates; and Greenway for great service to smaller, independent practices.  

"Clinicians and IT often have different sets of priorities," report author Erik Bermudez said in an announcement. "Vendors must balance the needs of both groups in order to be successful, and athenahealth, Epic and Greenway have done the best job of that." 

In contrast, Allscripts, McKesson and Vitera had the highest percentage of unhappy customers who felt that they were "stuck" with their existing EHR but wouldn't buy it again. The sources of the dissatisfaction included trouble with upgrades, poor support and the perception of a lack of vendor partnership.

The report also revealed that usability and functionality continue to stymie providers, and that many EHRs lack critical functions, such as patient portals, a significant component of Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program.

The report mirrors prior studies that stress providers' desire for greater functionality, and that have found athenahealth and Epic rated highly for usability.

To learn more:
- read the KLAS announcement