Community hospitals replacing EHRs

More than half unhappy with usability
By Mike Miliard
10:24 AM
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Frustrated doctor at laptop

As they grapple with meaningful use and grumble about usability, nearly 20 percent of community hospitals polled for a recent report are "actively looking to replace" their electronic health record vendors.

Smaller hospitals are being tasked with more physician documentation for MU, and the extra time required, disrupted workflows and and frustrating EHR functionality means many providers' patience is wearing thin, according to Community Hospital EHR 2015, by research group peer60, which polled 277 providers.

Many of those surveyed opined that "usability and functionality were not attended to as vendors developed their systems," according to the report. Consequently, with several years of suboptimal experience under their belts at this point, nearly 20 percent of those hospitals are scoping out new EHR systems.

[See also: Ambulatory IT shows 'adverse impacts on workflow']

Hospital consolidation may account for some of this (7 percent are going through a merger or acquisition, according to peer60). But the bigger reason is unhappiness with systems themselves: 54 percent were dissatisfied with basic usability.

Among other takeaways from the survey:

  • More than half, or 53 percent, of community hospitals have attested for Stage 2 meaningful use; more than a third, 36 percent, are still in the middle of attesting. Meanwhile, 11 percent had yet to start with Stage 2 – with some blaming the fact that "their vendor was simply not ready."
  • Basic usability, 54 percent, and missing functionality, 53 percent, were the top two EHR challenges cited by community hospitals. More than one-quarter 28 percent, meanwhile, said "support for strategic objectives" was missing from their vendor. Service and reliability/uptime were also cited as challenges by smaller percentages.
  • Meditech, 28 percent, was far and away the market share leader for community hospitals. Others included Healthland, McKesson and Cerner, 12 percent each, with Medhost and Epic, 8 percent, also players. NextGen, CPSI, Quadramed, Allscripts, Medsphere and Razor were also mentioned.

Access the report here.