Jargon, sales-speak, techie mumbo-jumbo. There’s a lot of noise to cut through when you’re shopping around for new EHR software.
Consider me your guide. You’ve got the scalpel (or stethoscope). I’ve got the machete. Let’s do this.
Today, I’m comparing three of the most popular EHR systems available side-by-side so you can make an informed choice on which to demo for your practice.
They’ve got a lot in common. They’re all cloud-based. They all offer most of the basic features you’d expect.
And they’re all good solutions. Which to choose mostly depends on what you need most out of your EHR. If you’re not sure where to start, check out my buying guide before you begin: Buying EHR Software:A Prescription for Finding Your Ideal EMR. I designed it to walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself before you start comparing software.
Okay. Ready to begin? Follow me.
eClinicalWorks v10 is popular. It’s number-one on our list of the Top 20 Most Popular EHR Software.
Its low, transparent pricing appeals to small practices. As does its lack of installation, setup fees, and free on-site implementation training.
Moving over from another EHR? eClinicalWorks will convert your data and move it for free.
eClinicalWorks v10 offers a patient portal called “Healow” where patients can input health and wellness data and information from wearables. They can also request refills, referrals, and education materials, and review records and test results.
eClinicalWorks is ONC Health IT 2014 certified. With it, you can meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. Beyond ICD-10 compliance, eClinicalWorks includes a search feature that makes finding codes a snap.
You can create custom templates or search templates other practices use to find the one that works for you.
The only basic features missing from eClinicalWorks v10 are charting and handwriting recognition.
The real cons relate to its usability. Our reviewers complained about the interface requiring too many clicks. And one reviewer warned readers not to use eClinicalWorks’ Revenue Cycle Management.
Starting Cost: $250.00/one-time.
McKesson has EHR products, and Practice Choice is the one geared toward independent physicians. With integrated practice management functionality, it’s geared toward smaller offices who want an ONC-ATCB and Stage 1 Meaningful Use EHR. According to consumeraffairs.com, McKesson is “Great for independent practitioner: Small medical practices will greatly benefit from this system as it was designed specifically for physicians to develop strong relationships with a moderate amount of patients.”
Practice Choice’s claim to fame is their “Bright Note Technology.” Details on how exactly it works are sparse.
McKesson Practice Choice enables physicians to utilize their preferred charting style so they can complete the entire patient record from a single note. It syncs information across your patient’s chart and generates searchable data automatically. Grab clinical data and quality care reporting quickly.
Consumeraffairs.com gives McKesson Practice Choice a “low” usability guidance score and describes this EHR as having a steep learning curve. They warn that “New patients report having a difficult time navigating the system, and the graphical interface can be a little confusing.”
EpicCare EMR is another solution on our Top 20 Most Popular EHR Software. It’s geared toward larger medical groups and hospitals. According to Gartner research, Epic is number one in the top 10 primary EHR providers as reported by healthcare professionals Participating in the CMS EHR Incentive Program and the ONC Regional Extension Program.
Users can choose a specialized version from more than 50 different healthcare fields. The NoteWriter feature allows you to take notes and document symptoms, and then transfer the information to a chart. You can also record notes when speaking with a patient. The software is “smart” and learns from your choices, eventually beginning to suggest things according to preferences.
EpicCare EMR is missing a lot of features you’d expect, including charting, e-prescribing, E/M coding, Meaningful Use Certification, and ONC-ATCB Certification.
In a 2014 Physicians Foundation survey, physicians reported spending 20% of their time doing non-clinical paperwork. You spend a lot of time with your EHR. Make sure it’s a good one. When shopping, make sure to consider:
- Good UX (get more done in fewer clicks)
- A reliable voice support system
- User-friendly reporting
- Basic RCM-like functionalities
What else? Let me know in the comments! And to check out more options and compare them side-by-side, check out our electronic health records software directory.