Epic, NextGen highest rated acute care EHR vendors for interoperability, Klas finds

Dive Brief:

  • Interoperability adoption and usability varies significantly by EHR vendor, according to a new report from Klas Research out Thursday, despite an ongoing federal push for free and unfettered data sharing.
  • Epic and NextGen are the best main acute and ambulatory care EHR vendors at making external data usable, followed by Cerner, Klas found. Overall, Epic and NextGen were rated at 4.25 on a 5 point scale for usability, while Cerner was at 3.75.
  • CPSI was the worst at 1.25, slightly outperformed by Greenway Health, at 1.5.

Dive Insight:

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has twice this year delayed implementation dates for wide-ranging rules meant to push industry toward interoperability. The new report from Klas, a follow-up to one published early last year, illustrates the data sharing situation in healthcare isn’t improving in the meantime, with external data usability differing immensely for providers depending on which EHR they employ.

National interoperability networks Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance have become some of the primary paths by which patient information is shared, but the number of providers connected to these networks, and the usability of data, differs based on a providers’ EHR. The report looks at main acute and ambulatory EHR vendors connected to Carequality and CommonWell, excluding data on other means of interoperability, like custom interfaces or health information exchanges.

Rebecca Pifer/Healthcare DIve; Klas Research data

NextGen Healthcare was the only ambulatory-specific vendor that had a strong usability experience for all interoperability workflows, Klas found. Rivals Epic and Cerner were also highly rated, with Epic working to better its end-user experience with its integration tool Happy Together, and Cerner delivering “strong capabilities for accessing and incorporating a wide variety of outside data into the patient record,” Klas said.

Epic and athenahealth continue to lead in clients connected to CommonWell and Carequality, with nearly all customers connected. Over the past 18 months, the number of Cerner’s customers live on the network have doubled, representing meaningful progress toward interoperability, Klas said.

However, MEDITECH’s adoption is slow, and Allscripts — despite being a founding member of CommonWell in 2013 — only connected their first customer, after shifting to Carequality, in the second half of this year.

And, customers continue to call on their vendors to reduce duplicative data involved with problems, allergies, medications and immunizations. As more providers connect to interoperability frameworks, multiple copies of medical data is becoming more and more of a problem, and it can take hours of strenuous manual work to reconcile the duplicates, Klas said.

NextGen Healthcare is the only EHR vendor with customers reporting significant improvement in the arena, Klas found.