The top 3 reasons hospitals switch EHR vendors

Issues related to productivity, interoperability and cost are among the most-cited reasons providers plan to switch EHR vendors, despite the costs associated with a new purchase and implementation, according to a study published in the journal Perspectives in Health Information Management.

For the study, the researchers conducted a systematic literature review of studies related to physicians and health systems that switched EHR vendors, including their reasons for replacing their current system and the barriers to doing so. The researchers evaluated a total of 26 research articles in their literature review.

The researchers determined various system functionalities and cost were the largest deciding factors in switching vendors.

Thirty-four percent of physicians in one study indicated they were dissatisfied with the EHR's ability to decrease workload, and 32 percent indicated they had not returned to their normal productivity two years after implementing the system. In a separate study, providers reported data exchange was a key functionality they wanted in a replacement EHR system, citing a need for better interoperability, interfaces to other software, and connectivity and network setup.

In a third study, almost half of providers indicated the cost of their EHR system was too high, and 65 percent of respondents said their facility had experienced financial losses attributed to the implementation of the system.

"Switching has proven to be a costly endeavor, but in view of the lack of value provided by their former EHR systems, many healthcare systems have chosen to move forward with switching vendors despite the possibility of not receiving an immediate return on the investment," the study authors concluded.

More articles on EHRs & interoperability:
ONC certifies 1st EHR solution for palliative care
Top EHR vendors in 4 hospital segments, as ranked by Black Book
Pew: 5 ways EHRs contribute to patient harm — and 2 ways to fix it

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