Physicians rate top EHRs for use, satisfaction, vendor support

More often than not, physicians report frustration and dissatisfaction with EHRs. They indicate EHRs are challenging to use, not user-friendly, introduce extra workflows and administrative burdens into their practices and detract from patient care. A Medscape survey sought to find what physicians liked about their EHRs.

The survey gathered responses from more than 15,000 physicians across 25 specialties. It asked questions about EHR usage, specifics on platforms, vendor satisfaction and more. Ninety-one percent of respondents said they currently use an EHR, 2 percent are currently installing/implementing one, 3 percent plan to use one within the next two years and 4 percent don't use one and don't plan to use one within the next two years.

The majority of respondents (63 percent) said they work in a hospital or health system with an EHR, 33 percent work in an independent practice with its own EHR system and 5 percent work in an independent practice but use a hospital or health system's EHR.

Here are seven key findings from the survey.

1. The most widely used EHR by physician respondents is Epic (28 percent), followed by Cerner (10 percent), eClinicalWorks (7 percent), NextGen (5 percent) and MEDITECH (4 percent). In Medscape's 2012 survey of physicians rating EHRs, Epic was still the most widely used (22 percent), but Allscripts came in second place (10 percent), followed by Cerner (9 percent), Centricity (6 percent) and eClinicalWorks (6 percent).

2. Epic was the most widely reported EHR in use in hospitals or health systems (41 percent), a significant hold over Cerner, the second most widely used EHR at 13 percent.

3. It's a different story for independent, practice-owned EHRs. One-third of respondents indicated using "other" EHR. The most commonly used legacy EHR was eClinicalWorks (12 percent) followed by Practice Fusion (8 percent). Epic holds just 4 percent of the usage.

4. When asked to rate their EHRs on a one to five scale (one being the lowest and five being the highest) on ease of use, vendor support, overall satisfaction, connectivity and usefulness as a clinical tool, the Veterans Affairs Computerized Patient Record System received the highest rating (3.65). Epic came in second place at 3.45, closely followed by Practice Fusion and MEDENT, both of which had a 3.44 score. Athenahealth received a 3.24, eClinicalWorks received a 3.21, Cerner received a 3.07, McKesson received a 2.85 and MEDITECH received a 2.84.

5. The survey analyzed individual criteria used to compile the overall satisfaction score. Amazing Charts was the top rated EHR for ease of use, followed by Practice Fusion. Epic fell in the middle of the pack, and Cerner trailed a little further behind.

6. Looking at connectivity and usefulness as a clinical tool, Epic received a 3.57 and a 3.50, respectively, the second ranked legacy vendor for both. Cerner was the third ranked vendor for connectivity (3.05) and the ninth for usefulness (3.07). VA-CPRS took the top spot in both categories.

7. Overall, the majority of respondents (81 percent) said they plan to keep their EHR.  

More articles on EHRs:

The EHRs used at US News' 10 top hospitals 
3 challenges inhibiting EHR use for patient safety research 
From novelty to care tool: The evolving usability of EHRs 

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