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KLAS: Clinical Usability Ranks as Top Concern When Choosing an EHR

September 22, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Nearly 75 percent of interviewed providers around the world reported that clinical usability outweighed every other criteria when choosing an electronic health record (EHR), according to a recent report from the Orem, Utah-based KLAS research.

After clinical usability, integration, product technology/architecture, and cost/value were respondents’ top concerns. Providers feel Epic is the clear leader in clinical usability and mention Cerner’s population health solutions. Perceived lower-cost solutions from Allscripts, CSC, InterSystems, and MEDITECH face an uphill battle; as providers weight their selections heavily toward usability and technology, higher-cost solutions Cerner and Epic benefit, according to the report. “Usability is the top dog. It is critical. We have to match the process and the system. There are a whole lot of things the system should be able to handle, and a big workflow is one of the key ones,” said one IT director who was interviewed.

Additionally, the report—"Global EMR Perception 2014: Usability and Integration Driving Mindshare”— found that although Cerner and Epic do not lead in global EHR market share, large and small provider organizations consider them far more often than they do any other vendors. Providers are most likely to lean toward Cerner as a probable choice, but Epic has significantly increased in mindshare despite a small global footprint—providers feel compelled to consider Epic based on their reputation in the market, the report concluded. The next most seriously considered vendors are MEDITECH, InterSystems, Allscripts, and Siemens. Reported market share for Siemens, InterSystems, and Agfa is not reflected in current mindshare.

What’s more, if a provider said a vendor will be excluded due to price, they always identified Epic. In a few conversations, Cerner and InterSystems were listed alongside Epic, according to the report.  Additionally, about one-third of those providers who said they wouldn’t exclude any vendors said Epic was the most expensive option.

“The surprise in the feedback is the uphill battle that perceived lower cost vendors are facing as providers weight their selections heavily toward usability and technology, and just how much that battle is benefiting higher cost solutions," said report author Chris Brown.

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