Before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, there were barely 40 EMR vendors on the market, ChartLogic being at the forefront. However, with the government’s attempts to unfreeze the health IT market, the number of EMR vendors has increased tenfold, and continues to grow today.
However, having multiple EHR options isn’t necessarily a benefit to doctors. A vast majority of EHRs—whether they are certified or not—have not been around for very long, and many vendor owners are just as confused about meaningful use as doctors are. Many of those systems are still full of bugs and require a physician to completely change the way they run their practice in order to use the software. The EHR retention rate across the country is only 70 percent, and many providers who continue to use their chosen EHR are unhappy with the results. It is becoming all too common for physicians to invest in an EHR only to replace it with a different one.
Another problem that doctors face when implementing EMR is the lack of training that they receive. Sometimes this happens as EMR vendors look for ways to reduce operating costs, but equally likely is the lack of vendor know-how in delivering on the promise of quality training and customer support. This capability is something that is typically learned through years of experience.
Furthermore, for many vendors, it is still too early to tell how effective their software really is. However, as time goes on, competition will weed out the unworkable EHRs, and those who adapt to the needs of both the government and the physicians will continue to thrive. There’s a good chance that the nationwide “quality healthcare” goal ONC keeps talking about will eventually become a reality.
But doctors don’t need to wait several years and waste thousands of dollars while new EHR vendors figure things out—there are experienced vendors already at work. ChartLogic arose years before most vendors even thought about coming into being, and the company has already been through the learning process of developing medical office software physicians will like and actually use. ChartLogic maintains a 99.4 percent retention rate, and because of its experience with working with healthcare professionals, the company was the first vendor in the nation to become certified.
So, EHRs today can achieve what they are supposed to achieve: the difference lies in the experience.