EHR Satisfaction is Up, But Interoperability and Support Issues Persist
Satisfaction with electronic health record (EHR) systems is on the rise, according to a recent survey of healthcare professionals across a broad range of facilities. However, system interoperability and support operations raised some red flags among respondents.
The 340 responses compiled by Healthcare IT News compared 2016 EHR ratings to the prior year based on interoperability, interface, security, user experience and support services.
EHR systems from Epic, Cerner, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks and Meditech led the way in total satisfaction ratings, followed by Siemens, McKesson and NextGen. All but eClinicalWorks and NextGen scored higher in 2016 than 2015.
Source: Healthcare IT News
While respondents overall gave positive marks for user experience and security provisions, they were most dissatisfied with intrusive alerts at the interface level, and — not surprisingly — interoperability.
Indeed, “interoperability with other systems” lagged other capabilities for users of all included EHRs except NextGen. Even among users of Epic, the survey’s top-rated EHR, interoperability graded out at the lowest level of all measured attributes. “It would be nice if it were possible to have exchange data from third-party EHRs be incorporated as structured data,” noted one Epic respondent.
Another area of concern was ongoing support. An eClinicalWorks user complained that technicians required remote access to the customer’s computer to fix problems, which ties up operations. The user said he would only recommend the EHR for standalone clinics with a full-time IT staff to deal with problems.”
EHR software also presents a timing problem in regard to exchanging data among providers: Successful data exchange between hospitals using different EHRs can be disrupted when either or both connected hospitals upgrade to a new version of the software. In a separate article, Penn Medicine CIO Mike Restuccia predicted that interoperability would fail to meet expectations until widely agreed-upon data standards are put in place and vendors take up the call for integrated solutions.
NetDirector’s HealthData Exchange integration solution addresses the problems holding back some EHR users. It enables data mapping once during set-up so that clinical data can move seamlessly among different systems used at hospitals/ practices, labs, pharmacies, imaging centers and government agencies. The data is transformed to the correct format of the receiver during transport.
Additionally, healthcare facilities only need to manage a single connection to NetDirector instead of multiple integrations to each disparate system. That cuts down on internal IT resources and frees up time to focus on delivery of care.