- When it comes to hospital Meaningful Use performance, who you choose as your EHR vendor makes a difference, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
- The researchers looked at the relationship between vendor and hospital performance on six Stage 2 MU criteria and found "significant associations" between specific vendors and level of performance.
- Epic users performed significantly better on five of the six criteria. However, results for other vendors were mixed, with some showing notably poorer performance on multiple criteria.
The study's authors claim the research is the first to look at the relationship between EHR vendor and hospital meaningful use performance.
The criteria studied included measurements on CPOE, giving patients the ability to view and/or transmit health information, medication reconciliation and providing a summary of care record.
All three hospitals in the top performance quartile for all six MU criteria used Epic, the study found. Of the 17 hospitals that performed at the top for five criteria, 15 used Epic, one used Meditech and another used a smaller EHR vendor. Of the 68 top-performing hospitals on four criteria, 44 used Epic, 8 used Cerner and six used Meditech.
A total of 355 hospitals failed to make the top quartile in any criteria. For those, 102 used Meditech, 89 used McKesson, 72 used Cerner, 51 used MEDHOST and 24 used Epic.
“Our results suggest that policy-makers should improve the [EHR] certification process by including more ‘real-world’ scenario testing and provider feedback or ratings to reduce this variation,” the authors wrote. “Hospitals can use these results to guide interactions with vendors.”
The certification process was meant to establish a threshold for EHR quality and support of MU criteria. However, the study suggests not all systems are created equal. At the same time, many hospitals have been slow to adopt new capabilities that could enhance performance. According to one study, just 38% of hospitals have adopted at least eight of 10 EHR data for performance measurement functions and 42% have adopted at least eight patient engagement functions.
The study comes at a time when EHR companies are waking up from a post-Meaningful Use growth and looking to add functionalities that are more inviting to patients in response to consumerism trends in the industry. The market is largely tapped out so any data relating performance to a company's brand is likely to help them as providers think about shifting systems.