Cloud-Based Electronic Health Record firms sweep top physician satisfaction rankings for Small and Solo Practices, reveals 2015 Black Book survey

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Nearly seven of ten small and single physician practices have affirmed their confidence in web-based EHR systems, as the more human aspects of third generation EHR usability come into play and connectivity issues remain unresolved. With meaningful use attestations and multiple system replacements behind them, independent doctors intensify product loyalty for open cloud platforms systems to improve financial results, clinical outcomes and increase patient satisfaction.

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An increasing number (79% in 2015 up from 64% in 2014) of new conversions are using software-as-a-service type implementations, driving the growing number of physician practices to cloud-based products.

Black Book Rankings, well known internationally for accurate, impartial customer satisfaction surveys in the multiple services and software industries, conducted a sweeping four-month user poll to determine the highest ranked Electronic Health and Medical Record software systems for 2015. As part of a special research focus on implemented EHR users, Black Book reveals industry trends and announced those software vendors with the highest scores in client experience among small and solo physician specialists across all medical and surgical specialties.

According to 83% of the 5,700 small and solo medical practices surveyed by Black Book™ in 2015, the single biggest trend in physician technology is cloud-based EHRs. Improvements in web-based EHRs including implementations, updates, usability and customization have reversed overall EHR satisfaction in small practices from barely13% meeting or exceed expectations in 2012, to 81% overall contented small practice EHR users in Q2 2015.

The adoption rate of cloud-based EHRs in small practices in urban settings has also increased from 60% in 2013, to 82% presently. The adoption by rural practices remains about the same as was in 2013, around 20%. 91% of non-urban physicians in solo practice state that fear of internet outages prevent them from changing to a cloud-based EHR, despite the benefits.

“The focus of healthcare technology vendors needs to be on mobile, cloud, and data integration to successfully meet the future demands of the changing healthcare landscape, “said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book. "The bigger issues of interoperability and population health outcomes, quality of care reporting and ICD-10 have framed the third generation EHR vendor, and the majority (69%) of small practices plan to increase their investment in the advancements made by their current cloud-based vendor.”

Pricing is the main factor in purchasing a cloud EHR, according to 79% of small medical practices.

38% of solo/small practice physicians have moderate to serious concerns about the security and privacy of cloud-based electronic health record systems even though 90% recognize that the cloud EHR platform and infrastructure models have matured into being a top safeguard to protect health information.

Conversely, 81% of physicians employing server-based EHR software claim they are concerned that their system, device, server or files may be stolen or breached. 92% of small practice EHR users that switched to a cloud based EHR from a server in the last six months feel their chances of a major patient record data breach are lowered, but 52% report their fears of system downtime have increased since the switchover.

69% of small practice physicians agree that first generation EHRs have not lived up to expectations, particularly dissatisfied with cost add-ons, affected workflows, and lost time with patients.

“An increasing number (79% in 2015 up from 64% in 2014) of new conversions are using software-as-a-service type implementations, driving the growing number of physician practices to cloud-based products,” said Brown.

Despite the gains, 48% of small practices that switched EHRs between June 2014 and May 2015 report the financial burden of changing EHRs has put the practice in an unstable financial position. 51% of solo physicians currently using cloud-based EHRs reported improved productivity results from their current cloud based system as compared to both cloud and server based EHRs they implemented previously.

Black Book forecasts the healthcare cloud market in US and Europe is expected to grow nearly 24% by 2020, and in the US reach $3.8 billion. The global healthcare cloud IT market is on track to leap above $7.0 billion worldwide in three years, up from $2.4 billion in 2014, including EHRs, population health, clinical coordination, patient engagement, telemedicine, mobile health applications and information exchange.

In 2013, 82% of physician practices reported implementation and deployment as the major EHR issue for their practice, falling to under 20% of users in 2015. Currently, 91% of doctors now see the biggest challenge to improving clinical and financial performance is the lack of EHR interoperability between all providers and payers including ancillaries, hospitals, clinics, labs, and physicians.

“As risk sharing increases, so will the demand for meaningful, robust data sharing between providers and payers regardless of the model EHR employed. “ Brown added. “If the interfaces for interoperability between the HIE and stakeholders is too difficult to evaluate and analyze risk, the more likely we will see another round of EHR replacements, cloud and server based.”

From a field of 349 small practice focused vendors, server and web-based inclusive, the top twenty highest ranked systems for 2015 were all cloud EHRs by nearly 5,729 survey respondents, polled from November 2014 to April 2015.

All top twenty ranked vendors scored over 90% in overall client satisfaction across 18 key performance indicators. Communications, connectivity, physician order entry, decision support, patient data management, and result review customer experiences were evaluated in ranking the vendors.

The highest ranked vendor for customer satisfaction in small and solo physician practices for 2015, across all medical and surgical specialties is Canoga Park, California based Praxis EMR.

The other remaining twenty top ranked solo and small practice vendors for 2015 are (in alphabetical order):

ADP AdvancedMD, Allscripts, AmazingCharts, athenahealth, Azalea, Bizmatics, CareCloud, CureMD, drChrono, eclinicalworks, e-MDs, Greenway, HealthFusion, Kareo, Modernizing Medicine, NexTech, Practice Fusion, Quest Care360 and SRS Soft.

About Black Book ™

Black Book Rankings, a division of Black Book Market Research LLC, provides healthcare IT users, media, investors, analysts, quality minded vendors, and prospective software system buyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other interested sectors of the clinical technology industry with comprehensive comparison data of the industry's top respected and competitively performing technology vendors. The largest user opinion poll of its kind in healthcare IT, Black Book™ collects over 550,000 viewpoints on information technology and outsourced services vendor performance annually. Black Book was founded in 2000, is internationally recognized for over 15 years of customer satisfaction polling, particularly in technology, services, outsourcing and offshoring industries.

Black Book™, its founders, management and/or staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in this survey, and Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results.
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Douglas Brown (Tampa FL)

Taylor Brown (Raleigh NC)
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