Report: Ambulatory care 'ready for primetime' thanks to EHR adoption, vendor growth

As ambulatory care grows, diverse trends are developing in the electronic health record market in two areas--at independent facilities and hospital or healthcare-owned facilities.

A new report from peer60, examining such trends, finds that there are differences in the values of EHR contracts depending on the ambulatory care facility. For example, ones owned by healthcare systems have fewer vendors to choose from and sometimes depend on what local hospitals are using.

Overall, the report finds, Epic is the front-runner in market share, where it stands now, and market mind, where it will be in the future.

Cerner comes in at No. 2, and though it lags behind Epic for market share, it's just about neck-and-neck with Epic for mind share. (In July a team led by Leidos and Cerner won the highly coveted contract to implement the electronic health record system for the Department of Defense.)

Allscripts comes in third place, while athenahealth and eClinicalWorks are fourth and fifth place, respectively, at least in terms of mind share.

When it comes to hospital-owned ambulatory organizations, Epic and Cerner remain 1-2, with MEDITECH in third place for market share. However, MEDITECH will have to work hard to stay relevant, as its mind share is virtually nonexistent.

For independent ambulatory organizations, there's a bit of a different narrative. NextGen has a bulk of the market share, while eClinicalWorks has the most mind share. Epic and Cerner, meanwhile, fall below that, with about the same amount of mind share; Epic has a little bit more market share than its main competitor.

As for provider views of their EHRs: About 55 percent say the biggest problem is missing functionality, and 42 percent say it's usability. When it comes to whether a provider would recommend their vendor, on a scale from 0 to 10, the average is 6.2.

In addition, ambulatory organizations "have made significant strides in stage 2 attestation," the report finds. Ninety percent have completed or are "in the thick of attesting now," it adds.  

That also trends with a recent data brief released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which reported that more than eight of 10 ambulatory care physicians are using an EHR.

The peer60 report's authors conclude that the widespread EHRs adoption, successful attestation to MU Stage 2 and vendor growth are "good indicators ambulatory care is ready for primetime."

To learn more:
- check out the report