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athenahealth vs. eClinicalWorks athenahealth vs. eClinicalWorks
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athenahealth vs. eClinicalWorks
Which Suite Best Meets Your Independent Practice's Needs?

author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
September 15, 2015 | Read Time: 3  minutes

The ambulatory EMR market continues to be turbulent. With practice consolidations and usability worries top of mind, many providers are reanalyzing their go-forward EMR strategies. Among independent physician practices, athenahealth and eClinicalWorks are currently the primary EMRs being considered. This report compares the strengths and weaknesses of these two leaders in the independent-practice market.


athenahealth outperforms eClinicalWorks in every area KLAS measures. Though each vendor’s product functionality is fairly comparable, athenahealth’s unique revenue model ties their success directly to their customers’. Customers report that athenahealth is a trusted advisor and that this results in more consistent, long-term success. eClinicalWorks is a technologycentric company, with better-than-average functionality but a poor track record for partnering with clients. Their delivery deficiencies often detract from the overall technology experience, leaving customers to hope eClinicalWorks will focus more on their success.

overall performance comparison


eClinicalWorks’ à la carte suite offers more options, yet customer success varies, often depending on customer expertise. eClinicalWorks’ experience with larger customers has driven broader development in population health and patient engagement. athenahealth has fewer population health clients and provides patient engagement functionality through their patient portal instead of through a mobile app, but customers report consistent success with deployed solutions. Regarding interoperability, providers report more success with athenahealth’s open architecture than with eClinicalWorks’ specific HIE (eEHX). athenahealth began in RCM services and has always been a strong player. eClinicalWorks is newer to the market, but early live clients report solid capabilities.

portfolio performance overview


The focus on customer success is the area of greatest difference between athenahealth and eClinicalWorks, with the disparity being even more noticeable in large practices. athenahealth delivers prompt, high-quality service across all practice sizes, with many providers crediting their positive experience to dedicated account managers. Larger eClinicalWorks practices (>10 physicians) report that their vendor has difficulty scaling the support to fit their needs. Common complaints include long response times, unanswered tickets, and a difficult escalation process. One-quarter of eClinicalWorks EHR respondents plan to switch EMRs (compared to 25%–33% industry-wide). The majority of these point to support as their major concern, though usability, functionality, and enterprise-wide integration are factors as well. Another 16% would like to leave for similar reasons but can’t. athenaClinicals respondents are half as likely as eClinicalWorks customers to feel stuck or have plans to leave, but they report similar concerns.

overall performance comparison by sizeorganizational plans by emr


In terms of deployment models, product customization, and pricing structures, eClinicalWorks provides more flexibility and options for customers than athenahealth. eClinicalWorks offers both hosted and standard C/S deployments, giving providers more freedom to individually customize things like templates and workflows than does athenahealth’s cloud-based architecture. Though eClinicalWorks also offers more pricing options, their à la carte approach at times leaves customers feeling nickel-and-dimed when they need interfaces or new products/ services. athenahealth customers have a single option—paying a percentage of monthly collections. Providers who entrust their billing to athenahealth appreciate the all-inclusive pricing. Though some perceive athenahealth’s monthly cost to be high, customers report they get good value.

core solutions value indicatorsoptions in deployment and pricing

author - Elizabeth Pew
Elizabeth Pew
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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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.