User Satisfaction with Ambulatory EHR

By Judy Hanover – November 8, 2013
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While EHR adoption has been successful, with the industry moving from just 30% adoption in 2010 to near saturation by the end of 2013, user satisfaction and productivity with the applications has lagged behind. The challenge of buying, implementing and maintaining the EHR software, adjusting workflows to incorporate the new software, meeting meaningful use requirements and changing business models to value-based care at the same time, has overwhelmed many ambulatory practices. The overwhelming problem with EHR in all care settings is lost productivity. In a recent IDC study, 58% of ambulatory providers reported that they were unsatisfied with their EHR, and 85% of these reported their biggest problem with the EHR was lost productivity. As EHRs are clearly here to stay, the question for ambulatory practices to consider is how they will restore or compensate for lost productivity, and if they will do it with the current generation of EHRs or wait for 2nd generation products?

IDC Health Insights conducted a web-based survey to gauge physician's adoption, satisfaction with, and planned roadmap with regard to ambulatory EHR. 212 ambulatory and hospital-based providers responded to the survey, which was fielded in September 2013 by MedData Group.   The physicians responding were mainly office-based providers, with a 50/50 split between PCPs and specialists and the majority (60%) working in practices with 5 providers or less.  Among this sample of 212, over 25 different EHR products were in use, and satisfaction with these individual products ranged from a low of 0% of satisfied users, to a high of 67% (products with <4 users in the sample excluded). 

Most providers using EHR are less productive than they were using paper in 2009, and the inability to restore productivity with EHR has clearly affected the business outlook for many providers. EHR is here to stay, and it is important for both providers and vendors to address the issues raised in this study in order to succeed in the coming years with current and replacement EHRs.  Success and productivity with EHR will become even more important as EHR installations become the building blocks for care management, patient engagement and patient-centered medical home operations under accountable care.  The reasons for dissatisfaction and satisfaction with ambulatory EHR, traditional installed and cloud based EHR,  information on objectives and replacement plans for EHR, and guidance for EHR users and EHR suppliers will be discussed in a webcast and a report.   The webcast is scheduled for Nov 14, 2013 at 11AM ET, register at   The full report,Business Strategy: The Current State of Ambulatory EHR Buyer Satisfaction HI#244027, is forthcoming and will be available shortly on  How is it going with your EHR? Do you plan to make changes or stay the course?  Contact me at 


About the author

Judy Hanover

Research DirectorIDC Health Insights

>Judy Hanover</a></p> <p>I am a research director for IDC Health Insights. For more information about me, visit


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Judy Hanover
November 8, 2013

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