KLAS: Three-fourths of providers globally list EHR usability as most important

American providers are not the only ones seeking well designed electronic health records; almost three-fourths of providers around the world say that usability is the No. 1 factor in choosing an EHR system, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.

The report, Global EMR Perception 2014: Usability and Integration Driving Mindshare, found that 74 percent of those interviewed cited usability as their most important criterion; almost two-thirds (61 percent) identified clinician adoption/workflow issues their top concern about implementation.

Six vendors in particular had "global mindshare" when it came to considering systems, led by Cerner and Epic. The next most seriously considered vendors were MEDITECH, InterSystems, Allscripts and Siemens.  Epic was viewed as a leader in clinical usability and Cerner was mentioned for its population health solution. No vendor stood out in terms of mobility.

Interestingly, Epic and Cerner also were listed as the most expensive systems, with 39 percent saying that Epic was out of the running due to cost, and 7 percent citing Cerner for the same reason. However, 61 percent of providers interviewed said they would not remove any vendor due to cost, even though they cited Epic as being most expensive.

"The surprise in the feedback is the uphill battle that perceived lower cost vendors are facing as providers weight their selections heavily toward usability and technology, and just how much that battle is benefiting higher cost solutions," report author Chris Brown said in an announcement.

EHR usability concerns continues to dominate industry discussions. The American Medical Association, frustrated about lack of improvement in design, took matters into its own hands last week by releasing a new framework outlining eight priorities to improve the usability of the systems and a corresponding action plan.  

Other studies have also found that EHR usability is a "unique and vexing" challenge to physician satisfaction and that current EHR design cost providers time that could be spent elsewhere.

To learn more:
- here's the KLAS announcement
- purchase the report