The great EHR switch

With more electronic health record systems continuing to fall short of providers’ expectations, a recent report by Black Book Rankings suggests that 2013 may indeed be the “year of the great EHR vendor switch.”

From the 17,000 active EHR adopters polled, report officials found that as many as 23 percent of medical practices were dissatisfied enough with their EHR systems to consider trading up in the near future.

“The high performance vendors emerging as viable past 2015 are those dedicating responsive teams to address customers’ current demands,” said Black Book’s managing partner Doug Brown, in a press statement.

And in light of Stage 2, officials say provider demands are only increasing. EHR users polled cited numerous cases of software firms underperforming enough to lose crucial market share, with vendor solutions often struggling to keep pace.

Barry Blumenfeld, chief information officer at the eight-hospital MaineHealth, is among those switching EHRs. MaineHealth is in the process of transitioning from Allscripts and MEDITECH to Epic’s EHR. When describing the Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager system it had previously, Blumenfeld said it was a “good product,” but really lacked integration capabilities with ancillary and the departmentals. “I’ve been a fan of interoperability my whole life, but I have to say it hasn’t gone quite as fast as we would like, and the thing that’s very important about Epic,” he explained, is that it integrates all workflows for seamless movement between different products.

— This was, of course, inevitable, and it is a good thing.  It takes time and practice to know what you need and how to use it when you get it.  EHR is one of the most important innovations in health care, and there will be mistakes, disasters, and wasted money before we get things right.

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