Health Industry Insights, an IDC Company, has issued two detailed reports rating ambulatory care electronic health records software from several vendors based on dozens of factors.

The reports, one for smaller clinics and the other for larger clinics (20 or more providers), rate each application based on such factors as cost, interoperability, practice management integration and capability of meeting pending "meaningful use" standards for federal economic stimulus incentive payments. Ratings are based, in part, on interviews with users.  The reports, however, do not provide a total score for each vendor.

For larger clinics, the Framingham, Mass.-based consulting firm offers ratings and reviews of software from Allscripts,  eClinicalWorks, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, McKesson Healthcare, Nextgen Healthcare Information Systems and Sage Software. For smaller clinics, it rates applications from Allscripts, Aprima, athenahealth, e-ClinicalWorks, Eclipsys Corp., e-MDs, GE Healthcare, Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., Pulse and Sage.

Key factors for successfully implementing an EHR system, according to the report, include, among others: weighing whether to install onsite servers or access an application remotely; assessing whether the user interface meets clinicians' needs; ensuring users are involved in the selection process; and assessing clinical processes and workflows before installing the application.

For more information on the reports, which cost $4,500 each, visit idc-hi.com.

--Howard Anderson

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