par Diana Bradley
, Staff Writer | February 21, 2012
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Top vendors and advice
IDC Health Insights’ report commended vendors that have devised EHRs with enhanced functionality, including: NextGen Healthcare, whose EHR offers decision support and reporting capabilities, along with customizable workflows and templates; eClinicalWorks, whose EHR can be used on mobile devices; Cerner, for its PowerChart EHR tool – a software-as-a-service application supporting more than 30 medical specialties; and Sage Healthcare Division, for its Intergy EHR, offering clinical functionality and integrating practice management tools through a single database.
Meanwhile, the 2011 Best in KLAS Awards in December rated Amazing Charts the best vendor for practices with 1-10 physicians; Athenahealth as the number one vendor among practices with 11-75 physicians; and Epic as the wisest choice for practices with more than 75 physicians.
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“When choosing an EHR solution, customers are looking for something that is going to be easy to use, that doesn’t slow staff down too much, and that’s going to deliver a degree of clinical sophistication to make sure they improve patient care,” says Reed Liggin, president of RazorInsights, Kennesaw, Ga., provider of cloud-based EHR solutions.
Based on the fact they are easy to implement and priced less than traditional client server systems, which can cost around $20,000 per doctor, cloud-based EHR solutions like Epocrates are gaining traction, according to Giannulli.
“Cloud-based products come in much lower, a couple of thousand dollars a year for everything,” he says.
Costs and vendors aside, it is the providers themselves that inevitably make or break an EHR system.
“Even if you have the best EHR solution out there, if you don’t take ownership and are not willing to use it, you’re going to find yourselves with a lot of money spent and no results,” says Leon Hoover, CIO, Hendry Regional Medical Center, who was a recent winner of Health Data Management's 2nd Annual EHR Game Changers award for overseeing two large expansion products — including the implementation of an EHR solution — to bring the hospital into a state of the art facility.
Hendry Regional Medical Center is a 60-year-old critical access hospital, serving a community where there are no other hospitals in a 25-mile radius. After implementing their EHR system last June, the Center is just about ready to meet meaningful use.
“Workflow processes have to change completely when you go from a paper-oriented medical record to an electronic one,” says Hoover. “But we are running very well, eliminating the possibility of medical errors and those kinds of things that come with having an automated system.”