Not just Epic and Cerner: Hospitals have several EHR options if they abandon eClinicalWorks

Black Book and Chilmark say a host of electronic health record vendors stand to benefit if existing eClinicalWorks customers jump ship.
By Tom Sullivan and Jessica Davis
12:28 PM
eClinicalWorks lawsuit

On Wednesday, the DOJ revealed that eClinicalWorks agreed to a $155 million False Claims Act settlement that mandates the vendor offer customers free EHR upgrades or transfer their data to rivals’ electronic health records platforms. So which EHR vendors stand to benefit most?

That answer mainly comes down to the size of the organization.

“A big problem may rest with all of their large hospital clients, such as Boston Children's, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and countless others who picked eClinicalWorks as their preferred EHR vendor for affiliates,” said John Moore, founder and managing partner of Chilmark Research. “These large IDNs who have a lot of influence in their local markets may begin turning to others such as Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, athenahealth, NextGen to provide the ambulatory solution to their affiliates.”

That’s the case among larger health systems. But Black Book Research Managing Partner Doug Brown has ranked the vendors most likely to gain from eClinicalWorks’ small providers and physician practice clients. 

[Also: eClinicalWorks whistleblower: NYC health department was indifferent to EHR flaws]

“When comparing the trust and accountability, marketing/sales shenanigans, interoperability/data blocking and tech support problems of eClinicalWorks to the top considered options, we can say most independent practices will likely select: Practice Fusion, Allscripts, Care Cloud, AdvancedMD, Modernizing Medicine and HealthFusion (NextGen) of the exiting eClinicalWorks business,” Brown said.

Brown added that when it comes to hospital-owned practices, Black Book anticipates that Cerner and Epic will be the big winners of any eClinicalWorks customer exodus.

“The ambulatory market is the most vulnerable, because the size of the implementation is smaller, and this is where eClinicalWorks has about 8 percent of the market,” said Dan Munro, author of Casino Healthcare. “So it's a really big hit for a private company with about $440 million in annual revenue.” 

Chuck Webster, MD, president of EHR Workflow, said that not all the blame should rest with eClinicalWorks and, instead, there are flaws in the meaningful use program that should be taken into account.

"While not excusing eClinicalWorks, they were trying to help their customers get the meaningful use subsidies, by gosh or by golly,” Webster said. “So, I imagine, if those clients reflect on this, they may sympathize and stick with them ... for a while.

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