Continued Growth Challenges Ambulatory EMR Vendor Capacity

Press Release | KLAS | July 18, 2012

Half of purchases in the ambulatory EMR market will come from providers replacing their current vendor; many feel the honeymoon period is over

Ambulatory EMR market expansion finds top EMR vendors racing to keep current clients on board while engaging new ones and extends opportunities to other vendors. According to findings from a new study titled Ambulatory EMR 2012: Market Splitting Under Adoption Pressure, vendors such as athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, Epic, and Greenway are gaining mindshare, and traditional ambulatory EMR favorites Allscripts, Cerner, GE, NextGen, McKesson, and Vitera (Sage) are juggling resources as provider need grows. 

Most small practices are looking for their first EMR, while larger practices typically already have an EMR solution and are often consolidating many disparate systems by replacing their EMR vendor. The three most replaced vendors in the study are Allscripts, GE, and McKesson—primarily due to complaints about sinking support or lagging product development. Vendors winning most attention from wary second-time buyers were eClinicalWorks, Epic, and Greenway.  

“Some providers are changing vendors simply because their whole organization is moving onto one platform. But the real sad story is the providers who are changing vendors because they can’t get the support they need or the functionality they expected,” said Mark Wagner, report author and ambulatory EMR expert. “Especially with meaningful use, those providers that are looking to replace their current system feel they can’t take chances anymore. They don’t care as much about cost; they just want a good system.”

Findings from more than 300 prospective ambulatory EMR buyers show that replacements are up this year from 30 percent to 50 percent. Although the bulk of providers are choosing one of the 11 top-listed vendors, results show that more than 60 percent are seriously considering a smaller vendor—especially first-time buyers, who typically focus on cost more than vendor name.

KLAS analyzes overall provider opinion but also dissects results by practice size to understand the differences in vendor performance noted by practices with 1–10, 11–75, and more than 75 physicians. Providers in small practices tended to have more vendor options available to them, while larger practices are challenged to find vendors capable of handling their complexity.

For further information about the ambulatory EMR vendors and market, the report Ambulatory EMR Perception 2012: Market Splitting Under Adoption Pressure is available for purchase online. Healthcare providers receive a significant discount off the standard retail price. KLAS Partner members can register to attend a live webinar about the report findings on July 24 at This webinar is also available to non-Partner member healthcare providers who purchase the report. To purchase, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS

KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting on the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve healthcare delivery by independently measuring vendor performance worldwide for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics that provide a solid overview of vendor performance worldwide in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, medical equipment, and infrastructure vendors. For more information, go to, email, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter at