Posted by: AllinHIT
EHR, EHR vendors
On November 29th, Black Book Rankings, a market research firm owned by Brown-Wilson Group, released their list of the top EHR’s. This is a respectable, internationally recognized market research firm, with a huge sampling of responses having interviewed 30,000 professionals in healthcare. The quality of this sampling, the firm, and the methodology of rating 18 key performance indicators, is a marketing gem to EHR vendors that made the list. However, the list’s marketing effect on the physicians’ buying decision, may be limited, based upon some factors. Simply, the physician must ask a series of questions.
As I have always recommended to physicians, look at the functionalities, reputation, workflow match, and other attributes of EHR vendors, then short-list your choice to three (3) vendors. The short-list process itself, with various rating and scoring methodologies, can be developed and implemented, and usually is done when using consultants. So, lets consider the physician has properly follow a methodology and have picked 3 vendors to choose from. Here are some of the questions, the physician buyer must ask; Which of the 3 have made the list? Black Book’s, EMR Research Director, acknowledged there are unique elements to each hospital and physician practice. Considering this, how did the various individual key performance indicators used in the ranking, match up with the uniqueness of my practice? The practice workflow, existing practice or revenue management system, interfacing needs, mobility needs, growth plans, and even delivery plans (maybe they are going to be a member of an ACO pilot), must all be considered.
Additionally, there are some overall questions any physician practice must ask, in reference to these rankings, regardless of where they are in the buying process. The obvious one, “Is the vendor also on the Certified HIT Product List (CHPL)? This means they have been certified for Meaningful Use by one of the ONC-ATCB’s (Office National Coordinator, Authorized Testing and Certification Body). This could put at risk the EHR incentive dollars! Matter of fact, one of Black Book’s key performance indicators, was Meaningful Use. However, since there is not one user, who can testify to the “ease of submitting MU reporting to HHS”, the results could be questionable. We all know most vendors are “guaranteeing Meaningful Use”, but that only pertains to the EHR’s capabilities, not how easy it is to extract and report the data! Maybe, after attestation, there will be a large sample group (due to a projected higher adoption rate), reporting on “MU capabilities and ease of use”. Then this ranking could become even more important, to the prospective physician buyer!