Physicians Seem Dissatisfied with Vendor Support

Further to an earlier blog post regarding a drop in user satisfaction among ambulatory EHR (what are known as EMR systems in Canada) users reported by KLAS, data from a survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) suggests vendor support may be a major contributor to the drop in user satisfaction.

While previous AAFP surveys have generated responses from less the 500 physicians, the most current survey elicited responses from more than 2,500 AAFP members.  Some interesting results from the survey include:

  • Respondents identified 142 different EHRs
  • 20 EHRs identified in the survey were named by 84% of the respondents.
  • 120 of the EHRs identified in the survey were named by 12 or fewer respondents
  • More than 60% of respondents agreed with the statement, “This EHR enables me to practice higher-quality medicine than I could with paper charts,”
  • Less than 40% agreed with the statement, “Our EHR vendor provides excellent training and support.”

So, good news is that more than half of the physicians responding to the survey felt that EHRs has a positive impact on their practice of medicine. Unfortunately, more than half of the respondents seemed to be neutral or unhappy with the support they received from their vendor.  What would be interesting to know is how the 20 vendors with significant market share fared compare to those vendors with minor market share.

While the survey results do offer cause for concern, I suggest that it is likely easier to fix the support problem than it would be rework software to have a more positive impact on the practice of medicine.

Mike

One response to “Physicians Seem Dissatisfied with Vendor Support

  1. I feel today medical practitioners are looking to avail of this federal incentive by trying to comply with the definition of meaningful use but at the same time EHR providers are looking at their own set of profits.
    This misunderstanding is mostly I believe as a result of wrong interpretation of the federal guidelines.. The EHR providers need to look at these guidelines from the prospective of the practitioners who deal with different specialties.
    Each specialty EHR has its own set of challenges or requirements which I believe is overlooked by in most EHR vendors in a effort to merely follows federal guidelines. This is resulting in low usability to the practitioners, thus less ROI, finally redundancy of the EHR solution in place.
    I think ROI is very important factor that should be duly considered when look achieve a ‘meaning use’ out of a EHR solution. Though one may get vendors providing ‘meaning use’ at a lower cost, their ROI / savings through the use of their EHR might be pretty low when compared to costlier initial investment. Found a pretty useful ROI tool that is pretty customizable and easy to use. It also accounts for the different specialty EHR’s too.

    Also the introduction of REC’s through the HITECH act. is a great way to avail of quality EHR solutions at competitive prices. The stiff competition among not only these REC’s but also among EHR vendors ( to become a preferred vendor of a given REC) will result in lot of positives to medical practioners.
    Looking the funding provided to the REC’s, the staggered grant allocation system also promises to be an unbiased way of allocating funds. It will also help in the concept of REC’s helping out each with their own unique business models. It can be one of the possible answers to the ‘safe EHR vendor’ challenge as discussed by many critics.

    Sorry to have diverted a bit from the topic but I feel this HITECT act and the REC’s are going to play an important role, as discussed above in the successful EHR implementation in the medical practices in our country.
    As far as implementation challenges goes, the federal guidelines for certification and usability are pretty much clear. Useful improvisation on these lines can make ones EHR’s friendly to most practices of varying specialties.

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