New KLAS Report Evaluates Ambulatory EHRs

Healthcare technology vendor research firm KLAS Enterprises has released its first report that exclusively covers EHRs for ambulatory physicians. The Orem, Utah-based firm’s research, titled “Ambulatory EMR Usability 2013: More Nurture than Nature,” was released May 30.

It focuses on the usability and performances of EHRs—both in general and by medical specialty--from several vendors. KLAS interviewed 163 physician leaders from group practices with more than 25 physicians for the report.

Physicians who reported achieving high usability for their EHRs ranged from 55% to 85%, according to the report. EHR systems from athenahealth received the highest effectiveness and efficiency score, as well as the highest overall usability rating at go live and currently, according to the report, while those from Epic were rated as being the best at guiding providers to achieve high levels of usability.

Conversely, the report also describes exactly where providers are having problems with their EHRs, what they are doing to address them, what elements contribute to high usability, and what role vendors and providers play in improving usability over time. It also gives more detailed information on each vendor’s system performance and physician usability rating.

“Meaningful use is driving the adoption of EMRs, but at times this comes at the cost of efficiency and effectiveness,” said report author Mark Wagner. “The financial investment in EMR technology can be large for providers, but this investment pales in comparison to the outlay in effort providers are making to customize the products to achieve high usability.”

To learn more about the report, visit