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KLAS: Strong Support Distinguishes Top EMR Vendors

Posted on June 12, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Wth EMR usability still shaky at best, it’s the developers that offer hands-on support that score highest when EMR usability gets rated, according to HIT researcher KLAS Enteprises, reports Modern Healthcare.

KLAS, which just completed its report “Ambulatory EMR Usability 2013, More Nurture than Nature,” spoke with 163 providers, specifically leaders of practices with more than 25 physicians.  In nearly every case, the magazine said, providers’ greatest frustration was related to vendor relationships, not the software itself, KLAS told MH.

As part of its research, KLAS ranked nine vendors on how well “the typical physician” could efficiently and effectively perform six common EMR tasks/functions, including e-prescribing, medication reconciliation, physician documentation, problem lists, viewing patient information  and supporting mobile devices.

Coming out on top was athenahealth, a Web-based vendor, which topped the list for getting providers to usability at first use, and second for having strong handholding relationships with customers.

Epic, which came up second in the overall composite ranking, was number one when respondents asked whether their vendor gave them good support in guiding them to usability.  This was true despite the fact that Epic is also well known for usability complaints by physicians, and that Epic is built on configurable modules that lead to a steep learning curve.

GE Healthcare and Greenway Medical Technologies tied for third in the composite scoring.

Meanwhile, Allscripts’ Enterprise EHR and McKesson Corp.’s Practice Partner got low scores for initial usability, the magazine said. Allscripts got higher grades for getting customers situated over time; 74 percent ranked the vendor good or okay as compared with 54 percent of McKesson customers.

McKesson had the most customers of any vendor in the survey reporting that the company was “not good” at helping users with its technology.

So, we have an interesting conclusion here: even if vendors turn out a difficult-to-use product, strong customer support can largely erase that disadvantage. Now, let’s see what happens when a big vendor turns out a product which is easy to use without a lot of handholding…

Will Hype Around the iPad 3 Lead to an Increase in EMR Apps?

Posted on March 8, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

In my conversations at HIMSS a few weeks ago with providers and vendors, I heard more than a few references to user-friendly EMR design, easy-to-use dashboards and the bar that has been set so high by Apple and the iPad. I had a chance to chat with David Carleton, VP and CIO at Heritage Valley Health System in Pennsylvania, about the adoption of the iPad in the clinical setting, particularly with regard to EMRs. Carleton, with the assistance of dbMotion, helped a team of docs and IT staff at HVHS in Pennsylvania develop their own EMR iPad app.

In a nutshell, the internet Clinical Access Portal (iCAP) app organizes and harmonizes data captured and stored in various systems – including its Allscripts Enterprise ambulatory solution and its soon-to-be-completed Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager, as well as the ClinicalConnect HIE in western Pennsylvania – and delivers Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) to HVHS providers via the tablet. Named to the 2012 Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks, HVHS seems to be placing a high priority on enabling its facilities to be truly interoperable with one another. It made sense to me that the hospital would want to better enable its physicians with a handy iPad app, but I wondered why they took the in-house development route.

Carleton explained to me that one of the reasons was physician buy-in. (You can view more of our chat in the video below.) Apparently, the key to getting physicians to adopt and consistently use the tablet and app was to have them on board from the very beginning. Involvement in the design process let them have a say as to what would best fit their workflows.

With the release of the iPad 3, the details of which were announced yesterday, I’m willing to bet we’ll see an up tick in clinical interest in the iPad and a corresponding surge in app development – in-house or otherwise.

Are you aware of other facilities getting into the EMR app game? Please share the details in the comments below.