Vendor Support, Connectivity, and Clinical Usefulness
Other aspects of EHRs influence physician satisfaction as well. Vendor support, for example, is key. Some physicians have reported that after their EHR was installed, the vendor was difficult to reach and the practice lost time trying to work around or solve EHR problems. Not surprisingly, the top EHRs in overall satisfaction also head the list of top rated EHRs for vendor support.
Practice Fusion was rated highest both in "adequacy of vendor training program" and "vendor continuing customer service." Amazing Charts, VA-CPRS, e-MDs, and MEDENT also scored well.
Although there's still room for improvement, 42% of respondents said they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their vendor. Less than a fifth (17%) were neutral, and a third (33%) were either somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
Participating doctors were also asked about their EHRs' ability to connect with diagnostic devices (for example, ECGs and laboratory information systems); practice management systems; reference and hospital labs; and other physicians (especially in supporting electronic referrals).
VA-CPRS rated highest, scoring 4.0 or better in all domains measured. Epic came in second in three of four domains, scoring above average in each. However, most EHRs scored below average across all domains.
This was especially true in the last domain, "connectivity with other physicians." According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), only about a third of physicians with EHRs are exchanging clinical summaries of patient visits with other physicians.
The use of an EHR as a clinical tool is one of its most important functions. Respondents rated their EHRs in four domains. VA-CPRS scored the highest in all aspects of use as a clinical tool, including appropriateness of clinical content, ability to support the physician's workflow, patient services (such as tracking patient procedures or surgery schedules), and patient portal features. MEDENT was the only other EHR to score average or better in all domains, although Nextech and Practice Fusion scored average or better in three of four domains.