- Nearly 80% of EHR purchases in the U.S. last year were by community hospitals with less than 200 beds, a new KLAS Research market share report shows.
- A majority of small hospitals chose Cerner CommunityWorks for its broad scope of functionality and integration, accounting for the bulk of Cerner’s growth in 2016.
- Small standalone hospitals looking to connect with nearby Epic hospitals opted for Epic Community Connect. While popular with smaller hospitals, customers of both the Cerner and Epic systems complained that they lacked customization capabilities, according to the report.
Epic has been moving into the smaller hospital market with less expensive, slimmed-down versions of its EHR. In March, the company announced plans to launch a mid-range version with fewer modules and an even trimmer model with fewer advance features and modules sometime later this year.
Major EHR vendors are also beginning to embrace open platforms. Cerner, Epic and Allscripts are all now offering application program interfaces that facilitate interoperability, patient identification and other functionalities.
Epic was the biggest winner in the acute hospital market with 89 scores. The EHR giant added 47 integrated health systems, 19 standalone hospitals and completed 25 customer add-ons. Two hospitals left Epic due to acquisition or a spin off. Fifty-seven acute care hospitals signed on with Cerner, drawn to its Millennium platform’s integration and customization features, the report notes. One contract was with a network of 30 microhospitals having fewer than 15 beds.
In third place was athenahealth with 36 new acute care hospitals. Yet athenahealth more than doubled its hospital clients during 2016, adding 45 hospitals — 14 with more than 25 beds. Providers liked the company’s web-based platform and cost structure based on percent of collections and inpatient/outpatient integration.
Overall, 78% of acute care hospital wins in 2016 involved organizations with 200 or fewer beds. Epic claimed 25.8% of the market, followed by Cerner with 24.6% and MEDITECH with 16.6%. Other notable players were CPSI (10.8%), McKesson(4.6%), MEDHOST (4.0%), Allscripts (3.5%) and athenahealth (1.6%).
While many clinicians continue to report burnout due to too many administrative tasks, such as inputing patient data into EHR systems, more and more hospitals are implementing EHRs with encouragement and some support from the federal government. Vendors can still do a lot to improve their systems' user-friendliness. But experts believe EHRs open up a realm of possibilities for optimizing clinicians' workflow and helping to improve outcomes.