Four out of every ten EHR buyers are seeking their second or third health IT system, says a Software Advice poll, and 40% of those buyers are looking for mobile EHR support as one of their top wish list features. The number of EHR replacement purchasers has doubled since 2010, the survey found, as providers seek optimized solutions to meet increasingly complex organizational needs.
The poll of 385 providers found that 6% of organizations looking to replace their current infrastructure were trying to move from a hybrid paper-EHR workflow to a more fully paperless office. “These buyers demonstrate that simply adopting an EHR doesn’t always mean a practice gets rid of paper altogether,” the survey notes. Fourteen percent of prospective buyers were opening brand new practices and hoped to start paper-free from the very beginning, while 2% were replacing proprietary, homegrown systems in order to adopt commercial offerings that may help them attest to meaningful use.
When asked about the reasons that led to considering EHR replacement, a lack of integration between health IT components and frustration with cumbersome interfaces topped the list. Other pain points cited by providers include a lack of desired features, poor customer support, high expenses, and a desire for better templates, better reporting, and more technical support from vendors. To ameliorate some of these problems, providers are turning to cloud-based systems. Eighty-five percent indicated that they would strongly prefer a web-based solution over an on-site install, which may help them implement their systems in the one-to-three-month time frame that the majority of them desire.
Almost 20% of replacement buyers and 35% of first-time purchasers were upgrading or implementing new systems in order to comply with the certification requirements of the EHR Incentive Programs. “This suggests their current systems either weren’t certified for meaningful use attestation, or weren’t allowing the physicians to accomplish meaningful use criteria tasks as successfully as they’d like,” the survey says. “In some cases, non-certified systems may seek certification and require users to pay to upgrade to the newly-certified version of the software, which we’ve seen prompt users to look for other alternatives.”
Above all else, providers wanted their new systems to support mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. E-prescribing, lab integration, and specialty-specific features were also highly requested. Despite the focus on meaningful use, the presence of an integrated patient portal was top of mind for less than 10% of providers, while interoperability with other software systems and the integration of medical devices fell towards the very bottom of the list.