EHR Dissatisfaction Expected to Lead Some Providers to Swap Systems

The government’s meaningful use program has prompted many medical practices to quickly purchase and implement electronic health records systems. The rush to qualify for the incentive money, however, looks like it could be leading to some buyers’ remorse.

About 17% of physician practices that currently have an EHR are expected to seek replacement systems in 2013, according to Black Book Rankings’ annual poll of nearly 17,000 active EHR users. These EHR users are contemplating a switch for a variety of reasons such as:

  • The solution does not meet the individual needs of the practice, including workflow (80%)
  • The practice did not adequately assess its needs before selecting the solution (79%)
  • The design of the solution is not suited for the practice specialty (77%)
  • The solution’s vendor is not responsive to requests and needs (44%)

“Meaningful use incentives created an artificial market for dozens of immature EHR products,” says Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Rankings, a New York City-based technology and services market and opinion research company.

The results of the survey also indicate that because many EHR firms have been so busy with sales and backlogged implementations, development issues are not receiving adequate attention. Most concerning to current EHR users are unmet pleas for sophisticated interfaces with other practice programs, complex connectivity and networking schemes, pacing with accountable care progresses, and the rapid EHR adoption of mobile devices.

As healthcare organizations seek new systems, they are most likely to zero in on the following “must-have” criteria, according to the respondents:

  • Vendor viability (84%)
  • Provider data integration and network data sharing (83%)
  • Demonstrable return on investment and clinical improvements (78%)
  • Adoption of mobile devices (75%)
  • Health information exchange (HIE) support, connectivity/interoperability (66%)

“The high performance vendors that will emerge as viable past 2015 are those dedicating responsive teams to address customers’ current demands,” Brown says.