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Acute EMR Usability 2017
Physician Leaders Say There is Still Work to be Done

author - Alex McIntosh
Alex McIntosh
December 14, 2017 | Read Time: 3  minutes

All major EMR vendors claim to be focused on creating a highly usable experience for clinician users, but what is the day-to-day user experience really like? KLAS interviewed 91 physician leadership professionals to gather their unique, representative insights as to the truth of vendors’ claims and the current state of EMR usability. Including feedback regarding organizational, end-user, and vendor dynamics, these leadership perspectives encapsulate broader insights as to the key successes, shortcomings, and frustrations clinicians currently experience with EMR usability. Though perceptions from physician leadership often differ from the end user experience, these views encompass a wider view of vendor performance.

ideal usability vs physician overall performance

1. No Vendor Comes Close to Providing Ideal Usability

All vendors receive low physician-usability marks from customers. While usability expectations differ between customer bases, Cerner, Epic, and MEDITECH are nearly tied when it comes to how well physician leaders feel their vendor delivers a usable experience. These three vendors have all made enhancements to their systems that have improved physician efficiency; customers often attribute their usability satisfaction largely to having customization options, better training, and a more intuitive user interface. Though not considered a usability standout by physician leaders, Epic does lead all other vendors in overall EMR performance, among end user and C-Level physicians, by a large margin due to better customer relationships, highly functional technology, and expansive enterprise functionality.

2. MEDITECH Makes Big Usability Gains

MEDITECH is one of only two vendors that has seen large gains in usability since 2015. Organizations that have moved to 6.1 report the greatest jumps in satisfaction; 6.1’s quicker, more intuitive web-based user interface more closely meets expectations, and users have an increased ability to tailor system options to match physician preferences. These improvements have helped ease some of the documentation load previously faced by physicians. With v.13, McKesson has also made some strides in improving usability, through improved system speed and a better user interface but must still make significant improvements to catch up with the rest of the EMR vendors.

product development improvement

3. Cerner's Dynamic Documentation and MPages Enhance Physician Experience and Efficiency

Physician leaders state that Cerner’s Dynamic Documentation and MPages have made a positive difference for Millennium PowerChart users, who are now able to implement a high degree of customization. The functionalities have been available for several years, but physician leadership feel the features are now starting to be used to help improve usability on an individual physician basis. The tools have helped physicians improve and speed up the documentation process.

emrs ability to maximize physician efficiency

4. Epic's Usability Remains Stable and Consistent

Epic’s physician usability has remained consistent over the past four years, and Epic leads EMR vendors in overall physician satisfaction. Leadership at Epic organizations are often satisfied with the Epic tool set and with the breadth of functionality that Epic’s systems cover; the training offered organizations offer can make a significant difference in physician leadership’s satisfaction with EMR usability. Epic has enhanced physicians’ ability to treat patients by enabling them to access useful information, such as test results and images, at the patient’s bedside.

stability of epic usability

5. Allscripts Not Seen as Primary Driver for Physician Usability

Two-thirds of Allscripts customers feel they are the primary drivers of their physicians’ usability success – stating that although Allscripts delivers a flexible product, much of the needed build and customizations fall providers’ shoulders. All other customers (one-third) interviewed report that usability efforts are an equal partnership. Many of these leaders feel that Allscripts has made some improvements with recent upgrades and that satisfaction with usability largely depends on individual physicians and their willingness to set up the customization options available within Allscripts SCM. Additionally, multiple respondents state that adequate, ongoing training is a key differentiator between satisfied and unsatisfied physicians.

who do organizations feel is driving improvements in usability
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author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.