EHR vendors tout the importance of their systems' technology when they market their products, but providers were more concerned about vendors' ability to deliver functionality than the particular technology the system used, according to a new study by KLAS Research.
In a survey of 117 organizations, mainstream technology such as Oracle, .Net or SQL were a strong driver in the selection of EHR vendors AllScripts, Cerner, McKesson and Siemens. AllScripts rated highest for programmability and accessibility of data; Cerner rated highest for interoperability and configuration.
"It is easier to access data and modify EMRs that have mainstream technologies at their cores…lower ratings for Epic and Meditech were influenced by a perception of design complexity, vendor protectiveness and scarcity of skilled staff," the researchers found. Epic and Meditech use Cache and MAT technologies.
The study also found no evidence that the technology itself significantly impacted providers' ability to achieve their clinical goals, and while adding extensions may be easier with some systems, "there was no indication of a specific functionality that could not be done on a specific EMR."
The industry has long expressed concern about the usability and functionality of EHRs, ranging from resulting changes in work flow, difficulty in use, and unanticipated patient safety risks. These and other problems have contributed to the dissatisfaction with the systems and failure to fully utilize the technology.