There appears to be a shift upward in physician experience across the large practice and clinic sector when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) satisfaction, according to an annual survey by Black Book Market Research.
Black Book first began measuring EHR satisfaction among providers six years ago. In 2013, 92 percent of multispecialty groups using electronic records were “very dissatisfied” with the ability of their systems to improve clinical workload, documentation and user functionalities. In 2015, comparably, 71 percent of all large practice clinicians stated their optimization expectations of top ranked Black Book EHR vendors were being met or exceeded according to physician and clinician experience. Eighty-two percent of administrative and support staff declared upgraded operational and financial developments, as well. For this survey, more than 27,000 EHR users participated in the 2015 polls of client experience in a sweeping five month study.
Interestingly enough, a recent physician-based survey from online resource organization AmericanEHR Partners and the American Medical Association (AMA) found that compared to five years ago, more physicians are reporting being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their EHR system.
What’s more, the Black Book survey found that Allscripts, Greenway, McKesson and athenahealth recorded the largest increases in client satisfaction over the past year among the large group practice sector of medical care delivery. According to the survey results of 1,304 large practices, overall satisfaction improved as follows:
- Physician experience satisfaction, from 8 percent (2013), to 31 percent (2014) to 67 percent in Q2 2015.
- Physician documentation improvements, from 10 percent (2013), to 28 percent (2014) to 63 percent in Q2 2015.
- Practice productivity enhancements, from 7 percent (2013), to 17 percent (2014) to 68 percent in Q2 2015.
Users of the top four ranked EHR systems agreed that vendor investments in 2014 and 2015 have attributed update and releases (34 percent), practice assessments (44 percent), clinical workflow enhancements (60 percent), revenue cycle management and analytics value adds (89 percent), population health capabilities (33 percent) and solicited physician feedback (90 percent) have contributed the most to their rise in overall system satisfaction.
Significant decreases in satisfaction were also noted by users of several clinic-oriented EHR users that failed in regional connectivity attempts (76 percent), implementation and training (77 percent), and customer support (85 percent).
“Meaningful use deadlines, total integration and reliable delivery may have influenced large group practice buyers to purchase initial EHRs from 2010 through 2013, but replacement buyers sought better EHR tools in 2014 that include patient engagement, true interoperability, enhanced usability and productivity gains,” Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, said in a statement. “There was also a measureable shift in loyalty to vendors that offered a robust, core EHR to accommodate evolving reforms.”
Among those surveyed, Black Book revealed just 18 percent of implemented large practices and clinics are in the discussion or execution stages of replacing their original EHR by 2016 year end. Opportunities for product penetration among current client bases of the top ranked EHR vendors were also recorded in the 2015 survey.
According to large practice executives and physicians, the primary reasons for top vendors succeeding in product penetration into their current client bases in the second half of 2015 include: client education (42 percent); product bundling (31 percent) and marketing (26 percent).
“EHR firms with a wide offering of products including health information exchange, population health tools, revenue cycle management services, patient portals, dashboards and analytics are emerging as the next wave of healthcare technology leaders,” said Brown. “These leading vendors are assisting their clients in assessing current practice operations to meet the demands of ICD-10, payment reform, connectivity beyond closed networks, revenue cycle management gaps, and population health tools, and recommending effective options within the same vendor suite.”