Report Names Top Electronic Health Records for Physician Practices

December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009 — A handful of electronic health record (EHR) programs designed for physician practices continue to earn the highest marks from customers, according to an annual ranking of medical software and professional services released yesterday by the research firm KLAS.

For the fourth consecutive year, an EHR program called Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Chart took top honors in the category of medical practices with 6 to 25 physicians. Greenway also ranked first for the second year in a row among practices of 2 to 5 physicians.

The category of groups with more than 100 physicians has its own perennial champion — Epic Systems EpicCare Ambulatory. It has occupied the top spot 4 years running.

The number-one EHR program among practices of 26 to 100 physicians was eClinicalWorks EMR, which placed second in 2008.

To devise its rankings, KLAS regularly surveys EHR customers not only on how well their software performs, but also on how well the vendor performs when it comes to implementation, training, and support — areas of service, that if flubbed, can ruin a physician's EHR experience. Survey questions such as "Would you buy this product again?" cut to the chase.

KLAS, based in Orem, Utah, segments its software rankings for EHRs (also called electronic medical records, or EMRs) by group-practice size because some products are specifically designed — and priced — for either very large or very small groups.

Top EHR Vendors Also Shine in Practice-Management Software Rankings

Some of the same vendors dominating the EHR market also won customer accolades for their practice-management software, which automates patient scheduling as well as billing and collections. The category leaders were:

  • Epic Systems Resolute/Prelude/Cadence (>100 physicians)

  • McKesson Horizon Practice Plus (26 - 100 physicians)

  • Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Practice (6 - 25 physicians)

  • athenahealth (2 - 5 physicians)

The EHR and practice-management rankings tend to overlap because more and more software vendors, such as Epic Systems and Greenway Medical Technologies, increasingly market an integrated package of EHR and practice-management modules built on a single database.

This integration is crucial because it allows patient demographic information collected by the front desk to automatically flow into the patient's electronic chart.

Likewise, diagnoses and orders entered into the chart can automatically generate bills. Experts say that a single database is a smoother means of integration than bolting together 2 separate programs — and their databases — with so-called interface software, which may garble the information flowing back and forth.

These rankings of EHR and practice-management programs appear in a report titled "Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services," which is available for purchase at the company's Web site. Physicians can look up survey data on individual vendors free of charge if they first complete an online questionnaire about the medical software, equipment, or computer services that they use in their practices.


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