KLAS gives athenahealth cloud-based EHR high marks among community hospitals

Company’s athenaOne for Hospitals and Health Systems platform has become the third most frequently selected records solution in the country, both in 2015 and 2016.
By Bernie Monegain
08:51 AM
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Since athenahealth acquired RazorInsights in 2015, the vendor has made quick inroads into the realm of community hospitals, according to a new report from KLAS.

Athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR service, athenaOne for Hospitals and Health Systems, has become the third most frequently selected records solution in the country, both in 2015 and 2016, KLAS found. 

The good news from KLAS is probably a welcome reprieve from a rough patches athenahealth has had this year, with an activist investor taking aim at the company and spurring the threat of a takeover, falling stock prices and speculation about who might buy the cloud-based company – Apple? Then there also was the specter of new competition from Epic, which is developing lower-cost versions of its EHR to take on athenahealth and others in serving smaller organizations. 

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KLAS interviewed all of the eight hospitals that contracted with athenahealth to convert from another EMR and went live by February 2017. KLAS also spoke with 28 other hospitals that contracted with athenahealth but were not yet live as of February to gauge their progress.

Hospitals that migrated from the RazorInsights platform were excluded from the research because their experience is atypical of what prospective clients might expect.

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Executives at small hospitals are largely positive about their experience with athenahealth so far, KLAS found. They especially like the prospect of having an integrated clinical/RCM solution without a large up-front capital outlay.

Also, they said athenahealth’s innovative cost structure and web-based solution can help them stay financially viable and decrease IT and security resources in coming years.

Customers point to improved usability as the biggest success. The majority of customers surveyed (outside of pharmacy) say the athenahealth solution’s overall ease of use has been a win, especially for physicians.

They also note there is plenty of room for improvement on that score and also on documentation. Customers indicate the workflow is better overall than what they had before with paper or a previous EMR.

“The athenahealth report was produced to meet demand by community hospitals for information on a frequently-considered solution for migrating from legacy systems,” a KLAS spokesperson said. “It was driven by provider interest, not commissioned by a vendor such as athenahealth. Yes, athenahealth does have a relationship with KLAS and purchases access to KLAS research and consulting services. But no, athenahealth did not pay KLAS to conduct this research.” 

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com