The EHR market: 13 latest news updates

EHRs remain central in health IT conversations. Whether it's top vendors or least desired characteristics, healthcare professionals are constantly discussing products, best practices and tips for use.

Here are 13 news updates about EHRs and the EHR market from September.

1. A new report from the ONC indicates more than 80 percent of physicians adopted some kind of EHR in 2014, with 74 percent reporting using a certified EHR and 51 percent using a basic EHR. Additionally, the majority of physicians report using certified EHRs, regardless of their participation in the EHR Incentive Program.

2. The top five desired features in an EHR are voice recognition, mobile integration/app, a medical dictionary, telemedicine capabilities and a marketing functionality, according to a Capterra survey.

3. The Capterra survey also identified the 5 most-used EHR features: patient portal, appointment booking, patient reminders/alerts, specialty-specific charts and physician scheduling.

4. It's no surprise that EHR implementations are expensive, but Capterra's survey also discovered the average provider spends an average of $31,710 more on an EHR per year than they expect. Providers spend an average of $117,672 per year on EHR software.

5. A study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found physician dissatisfaction remains over the "review of systems" section of their EHRs, the part Medicare and Medicaid require for billing purposes. The study found the majority of physicians skipped the review of systems section and went straight to the assessment and plan sections, the more clinical parts of the record. Authors concluded EHRs need a more streamlined method of presenting medical information.

6. More than one-third of the largest EHR vendors do not meet the ONC's certification requirement for user-centered design process, according to a study from MedStar Health's National Center for Human Factors. Seventeen percent of the vendors did not involve physicians in usability tests for platforms, and more than 63 percent of vendors enrolled less than 15 users in usability tests.

7. Some states have a higher percentage of EHR usage than others. New CDC data finds the following eight states have significantly higher rates of EHR use than the rest of the country: North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Iowa. The following six states have lower EHR use rates than the national average: Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

8. Software Advice, an EHR comparison site, released its rankings of the most popular EHR products. Software Advice's rankings are based on its proprietary popularity metric that factors in the number of product users, how often brand names and related information are searched for in Google and each vendor's social media presence. According to this metric, here are the 10 most popular EHR products: Epic, Allscripts, Practice Fusion, Cerner, MEDITECH, eClinicalWorks, Medios ,GE Healthcare, Primed and Nextgen.

9. Just two vendors saw zero client loss in 2014, according to a KLAS report. Epic and athenahealth were the only two EHR vendors to not lose any clients last year. Additionally, just three vendors posted a gain in market share last year: Epic, athenahealth and Cerner.

10. Primary care practices seeking to switch EHR vendors are mostly doing so because they seek ore population health and analytics offerings, according to a Black Book Rankings survey. Approximately 94 percent of primary care practices with more than six providers are using, implementing or selecting an EHR system, and 84 percent are in the process of replacing their EHR system, according to the survey.

11. The ONC terminated the certification of two EHR products saying they no longer met the certification program requirements for the EHR Incentive Program. Two versions of Platinum Health Information System's SkyCare 4.2 lost their certification status.

12. Salesforce has launched Health Cloud, a new patient relationship platform hosted in the cloud. The record system will be accessible to all care team members and hopes to propel patients to become customers and solidify the physician-patient relationship.

13. A Black Book Rankings survey identifies Greenway Health's EHR as the top-ranked vendor for primary care physicians with at least six providers. For the past two years, Greenway was No. 2 among the top vendors.

More articles on health IT:

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Investigation reveals 'gag clauses' built into Epic, Cerner, Allscripts EHR contracts impact patient safety
FBI issues 'Internet of Things' medical device security warning

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