Poll: Cerner top choice for Coast Guard EHR, but many say 'stick with Epic'

Cerner came out on top, with many readers saying it would be best for consistency with the U.S. Department of Defense.
10:06 AM
Coast Guard new EHR vendor

We asked Healthcare IT News readers who the U.S. Coast Guard should choose for their new EHR vendor, and why. Unlike the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Coast Guard is not tied to an in-agency product and it has said that it is looking to replace its Epic EHR after struggling to work with that vendor's system.

With nearly 300 votes, our poll highlighted the highly competitive world of EHR vendor products and the factors organizations consider before choosing one that meets their needs. Cerner came out on top, with many readers saying it would be best was for consistency with the U.S. Department of Defense (they rolled out Cerner earlier this year).

A look at all the vendors in the survey, the "other" representing write-ins by readers.

Now, a closer look at the top 5.

Cerner's 29.2 percent dominated the poll and suggested the agency take advantage of saving money since the DoD is already invested in the EHR. “DoD Military Health has already conducted an extensive RFP and evaluation…thus they should leverage costs associated with that award," one respondent said. “Why perpetuate costly integration issues? Be done with it!” said another.

[Also: Congress mandates regular reports on Cerner's DoD EHR progress]

Despite the problems with the Coast Guard's Epic rollout early last year -- the agency ended its $14 million contract with Epic due to irregularities -- a surprising 82 percent who chose "other" in our poll wrote in Epic as their choice. Many comments were in the spirit of “worth another try” and being “affordable, integrates with VA VistA." Several others suggested the failure of Epic’s rollout was due to “previous mistakes that didn't live with Epic but with Leidos.”

Another notable “other” write-in vendor, Azalea Health, received 14 percent of that category's votes based on usability. “(It is) easy for clinicians to use and customizable for telehealth especially,” one respondent wrote.

With 8.1 percent of the votes coming in for VA's VistA platform, many respondents noted the cost-savings advantage of adopting another government agency's choice. “The Coast Guard can leverage cost by using a system that is in use by an affiliate agency.” 

Allscripts, with 6.6 percent, was most often suggested for their "connectivity."

Meditech rounded out the top vendors with comments touting their ability to handle large installations like, "a proven EHR that can handle the complexity of the Coast Guard."

Twitter: @wea1021
Email the web producer: wendy.almeida@himssmedia.com

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