Larger doc practices use narrower array of EHR products

The electronic health record vendor market for larger physician practices is focused on a smaller selection of products than those used in small practices, according to a new report from AmericanEHR Partners, a free online resource founded by the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies.

The survey of almost 1,400 clinicians found that 60 percent of responses from practices with 26 or more clinicians were from users of only 10 different EHR products. In comparison, only 51 percent of responses from practices with one to three clinicians were from users of 10 EHR products. 

"The report found that responses from practices with 26 or more clinicians rated 96 different EHR products, meaning that the 40 percent of practices that used an EHR product other than the top 10 were spread out among 86 different vendors," Shari M. Erickson, senior vice president of ACP's Division of Governmental Affairs and Medical Practice, said in the report. "The key finding is that data shows that larger practices tend to be more focused on the same systems."

Overall, Epic (14 percent) and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (9 percent) were the dominant vendors. By product, EpicCare Ambulatory EMR took the top spot, followed by eClincialWorks. EpicCare Ambulatory EMR was the most frequently used product in four to 10, 11 to 25 and 26-plus clinician practices. Practice Fusion was the most frequently used product among solo practitioners and practices of one to three clinicians.

The study did not address whether physicians liked the system they were using or whether they had ever switched the EHR product used. A recent study found that while more physicians are using EHRs, many of them are less impressed with the systems than previously. 

Physician adoption of EHRs also appears to have leveled off, even though the penalty phase of the Meaningful Use program has begun, assessing a payment reduction on hundreds of thousands of physicians. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, signed this week, replaces the Meaningful Use program with a different merit based system.

To learn more:
- read the announcement