Electronic Health Records Purchasing Study Highlights Changes In Demand Drivers Since HITECH Act

Press Release | Software Advice | May 23, 2013

Study by Software Advice shows that current EHR buying activity is increasingly driven by a need to replace existing, unsuccessful EHR implementations as replacement of paper charts declined.

AUSTIN, Texas - May 23, 2013 - Software Advice, a trusted resource for medical software buyers,  published a three-year study of demand drivers among prospective buyers of EHR software. Survey respondents were asked what their new EHR system would be replacing, such as paper charts or another EHR system, and their reasons for buying. The results showed that from 2010 to 2013:

  • The percentage of buyers replacing another EHR grew from 21.0 percent to 31.2 percent;
  • The percentage of buyers replacing paper records dropped from 64.9 percent to 50.9 percent; and
  • Qualifying for stimulus funds is no longer a primary driver of EHR purchases.

The research was conducted in part to determine the impact that the HITECH Act had on EHR demand, and specifically on implementation success. In 2010, 58.8 percent of the buyers replacing an existing EHR were doing so because they were dissatisfied with their current EHR software or vendor. By 2013 that number increased to 74.2 percent. Top reasons for dissatisfaction with an EHR include a lack of key features, a slow or cumbersome interface, and hardware failures, while top reasons for dissatisfaction with an EHR vendor include high costs and poor customer support.

“We think these results are particularly telling,” said David Fried, the study’s author. “Compare this to the 23.5 percent (2010) and 15.8 percent (2013) of buyers replacing a system because it’s old or out of date. What we start to see is a shift in buyer attitudes that highlights, for buyers, the importance of rigorous process for software selection and implementation. Too many hasty purchases were made.”

The study also points to a number of areas that demonstrate how the overall market is moving toward electronic records. For example, the percentage of buyers opening a new practice and looking to start off paperless grew from 12.2 percent to 16.4 percent. Meanwhile, when replacing paper charts, six times as many respondents said “It’s time to make the move,” in 2013 compared to 2010.

The study concludes that HITECH did an excellent job stimulating the purchase of medical records, but notes the importance of a rigorous plan for assessing software before buying. Not included in the survey sample are the many EHR success stories where buyers are happy with their purchase and are therefore not evaluating new EHR software in 2013. The report concludes by recommending that potential buyers avoid dissatisfaction by considering all options carefully, assessing vendor viability, and methodically reviewing software to be confident in their purchase.

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About Software Advice

Software Advice is a trusted resource for software buyers. The company's website, www.softwareadvice.com, provides detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. Meanwhile, the company’s team of software analysts provide free telephone consultations to help each software buyer identify systems that best fit their needs. In the process, Software Advice connects software buyers and sellers, generating high-quality opportunities for software vendors. Since its founding in 2005, the company has assisted more than 115,000 software buyers. Software Advice is headquartered in Austin, Texas where it employs a team of 55 (and growing). It has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine.


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