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Top Vendors Face Ambulatory EMR Market Struggles, Study Finds

July 18, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to new research from the Orem, Utah-based KLAS, the ambulatory EMR market expansion has led to top vendors racing to keep current clients on board while looking for new ones and extending opportunities to other vendors. The study, titled Ambulatory EMR 2012: Market Splitting Under Adoption Pressure, found that vendors Allscripts, GE, and McKesson are the three most replaced vendors by larger practices primarily due to complaints about sinking support or lagging product development.

The study found that vendors winning most attention from wary second-time buyers were eClinicalWorks, Epic, and Greenway.  Overall, vendors such as athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, Epic, and Greenway are gaining mindshare, and traditional ambulatory EMR favorites Allscripts, Cerner, GE, NextGen, McKesson, and Vitera (Sage) are juggling resources as provider need grows.  The study’s authors say, small practices are looking for their first EMR, while larger practices typically already have an EMR solution and are often consolidating many disparate systems by replacing their EMR vendor.

"Some providers are changing vendors simply because their whole organization is moving onto one platform. But the real sad story is the providers who are changing vendors because they can't get the support they need or the functionality they expected," Mark Wagner, report author and ambulatory EMR expert, said in a statement. "Especially with meaningful use, those providers that are looking to replace their current system feel they can't take chances anymore. They don't care as much about cost; they just want a good system."

Replacements are up from 30 percent to 50 percent, according to findings from more than 300 prospective ambulatory EMR buyers show. While the bulk of providers are choosing one of the 11 top-listed vendors, results show that more than 60 percent are seriously considering a smaller vendor-especially first-time buyers, who typically focus on cost more than vendor name.

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