Doctors Rate Their Top EHRs: Some Complaints, Some Praise

Neil Chesanow

Disclosures

July 15, 2014

In This Article

The Top Rated EHRs Overall

Participating doctors were asked to rate their EHRs by several key criteria, including ease of use, vendor support, overall satisfaction with the product, how well it connects with other systems, and usefulness as a clinical tool. Those scores were then used to develop the ratings, with 5 meaning "excellent" and 1 meaning "poor."

Here's how our physician participants rated their EHRs overall:

1. VA-CPRS: 3.9

2. Practice Fusion: 3.7

3. Amazing Charts: 3.7

4. MEDENT: 3.5

5. e-MDs: 3.5

6. athenahealth: 3.4

7. Nextech: 3.4

8. Epic: 3.4

9. eClinicalWorks: 3.2

10. Sage: 3.1

11. Centricity: 3.0

12. Greenway: 3.0

13. Practice Partner: 3.0

14. Allscripts 2.9

15. Cerner: 2.9

16. Meditech: 2.7

17. McKesson: 2.7

18. NextGen: 2.6

The highest-rated EHR, with a score of 3.9, is the Veterans Administration's VA-CPRS. It's regarded as one of the best overall by our physician respondents. Practice Fusion and Amazing Charts tied for second in the ratings for overall user satisfaction (3.7). MEDENT and e-MDs tied for third place in the ratings (3.5).

Of note, Practice Fusion, Amazing Charts, and e-MDs are all Web-based EHRs. The survey found that the percentage of doctors using installed (on the user's hardware) EHRs is declining, while use of Web-based EHRs is growing.

No EHR rated by our respondents had an overall score of 4 or higher. Why not? Ronald Sterling, CPA, MBA, Principal of Sterling Solutions in Silver Spring, Maryland, a national EHR expert and the author of Keys to EMR Success, has an explanation.

"EHRs have basically been focused on creating E&M-acceptable documentation for office visits, but physicians want better tools to manage care and track patients," he says. "Meanwhile, EHR vendors have been overly focused on meeting the demands of meaningful use rather than addressing the focused needs of doctors."

Another reason: Doctors may use one EHR in the office and another in the hospital, creating inefficiencies. "Doctors are recording information in the hospital EHR that should be in their own records but may be difficult to transmit," Sterling says. This frustration may cause them to give their EHRs lower overall scores.

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