4 questions buyers should ask before replacing EHRs and 6 other key findings

The number of buyers replacing existing EHR software has increased by 59 percent since 2014, according to a survey from EHR comparison group Software Advice.

Software Advice randomly selected 385 interactions with U.S. buyers during the first quarter of 2015 and analyzed their reasons for evaluating systems, the most critical features required and deployment preferences, among other metrics.

Here are seven more key findings from the report:

  • It is becoming increasingly rare for vendors to encounter first-time buyers: In 2014, 60 percent of buyers in the survey sample were replacing existing EHR systems.
  • Practitioners are becoming more discerning about EHR selection and are less satisfied with systems that simply serve as digital patient record repositories.
  • Of those dissatisfied with their current software, the most common reason was faulty or cumbersome systems.
  • At 45 percent, billing is the top-requested application for the highest percentage of EHR buyers, potentially due to the upcoming ICD-10 transition, as 92 percent of buyers bill in-house.
  • More efficient patient-monitoring and better customization for individual practices were the most sought after functionalities.
  • Other top-requested functionalities are patient tracking, customizable templates and regulatory compliance.
  • To avoid replacing EHR software, physicians should ask the following questions:

-How will the product's design impact practice workflow?

-What kinds of customizations is the system capable of supporting?

-How long has the vendor been around?

-Will the system enable EHR meaningful use attestations?

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