Number of providers replacing their EHRs quadrupled in one year, ONC says
September 11, 2015 | By Marla Durben Hirsch
The number of providers who changed their electronic health record systems jumped four-fold from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest statistics from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on attestation.
ONC public health analyst Dustin Charles reported at the agency's Health IT Policy Committee meeting Sept. 9 that by the start of 2014, 90 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) and 77 percent of eligible professionals (EPs) could obtain 2014 edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) from their current vendor. To attest to Meaningful Use in 2014, 88 percent of EHs and 90 percent of EPs obtained 2014 CEHRT from their current vendor by upgrade or a new product.
However, in 2014, more providers changed EHR vendors than in prior years, with 8 percent of attesting EPs transitioning in 2014, up from 2 percent in 2013. The number of attesting EHs that switched EHRs rose from 0 percent in 2013 to 4 percent in 2014.
The ONC data update was focused on how 2014 attesters were updating their EHRs to the 2014 edition of CEHRT, and didn't address the reasons why so many providers changed EHR vendors in 2014.
But the report dovetails with other surveys that have found more providers looking to replace their current EHRs rather than buying one for the first time. Those studies have found that buyers now are more savvy about an EHR's functionality and usability, and how they fit within their own needs, than when they initially purchased a system.
One recent study found that physicians' dissatisfaction with their current systems was the top driver for them to be shopping for a new EHR. A recent study from Black Book Rankings found that providers were revaluating their EHRs in light of evolving reimbursement reforms, which requires improved capabilities in an EHR.
The interoperability task force also reported at the Committee meeting that multiple stakeholders were needed on ONC's interoperability roadmap, not just vendors and providers.