KLAS: Epic leads EHR mindshare for independent ambulatory care orgs

Epic and athenahealth are dominating EHR mindshare across independent ambulatory care organizations, according to a new KLAS report.

Epic and athenahealth have the greatest EHR mindshare for potential purchasing decisions across independent ambulatory practices, according to the 2024 KLAS Ambulatory EHR/PM Mindshare report.

To collect mindshare data, KLAS asked 152 ambulatory practices, "If you were hypothetically in the market for a core EHR/PM solution, who would be your top three vendors, and why?" KLAS also spoke with 100 ambulatory practices that are planning to make an EHR/PM purchase decision soon or have recently done so.

Interviewed organizations who are making a purchasing decision chose Epic most frequently; 22 organizations said they are considering the Community Connect system, and 15 said it would likely be their choice.

The main decision factors among these practices are interoperability and data sharing, as well as Epic's functionality, stability, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. Organizations considering Epic's direct model also emphasized interoperability as a priority.

Ambulatory practices reported that they are considering athenahealth for its technology, product quality, usability, and market presence. Many practices emphasized the EHR's cloud-based architecture and the vendor's promise of continual improvement.

Practices considering NextGen Healthcare as a vendor partner mentioned interest in the company's enterprise product. However, in the past year, stakeholders have only chosen the NextGen Office tool (solely by small practices). Decision factors include the vendor's specialty functionality and market familiarity.

Half of the ambulatory practices considering Oracle Health are from health system-owned facilities looking for enterprise-wide consolidation; one practice said they will likely choose Oracle Health.  

Additionally, one independent organization said they are heavily considering Oracle Health, primarily for its integration capabilities. However, other practices have decided against the EHR vendor in favor of platforms with enhanced integration and functionality, the report indicated.

Customers looking to replace Greenway Health systems mentioned major satisfaction decreases in terms of support. Practices also pointed to a lack of specialty functionality, increased cost, insufficient product development, and changes in reporting functionality that have hampered their ability to meet regulatory requirements.

Ambulatory practices considering eClinicalWorks noted the system's broad capabilities. However, many have decided against the vendor based on word of mouth from current customers.

Respondents looking to replace eClinicalWorks cited regular disruptions during system updates, insufficient vendor support, increased costs without corresponding value, and a lack of interoperability.

Nearly all interviewed clients planning to replace their NextGen Healthcare system said their primary motivation was vendor nickel-and-diming for necessary functionality.

Among large practices (>75 physicians), both independent and health system-owned, Epic had over twice as much mindshare as any other vendor. Respondents generally noted Epic as a reliable partner who delivers stable, high-functioning, and interoperable health IT.

athenahealth held the second-highest mindshare for large practices, with many respondents reporting that the system's ease of use could help address burnout and improve scalability.

The report found that midsize independent ambulatory practices (11–75 physicians) are seeking additional integration/interoperability from their core vendors. All the interviewed health system-owned respondents are looking at enterprise vendors like Epic, MEDITECH, and Oracle Health to address that need.

"Notably, only one midsize independent organization cited integration capabilities as the reason they would choose Epic in a hypothetical decision; the rest cite Epic's reputation as well as word of mouth as the reason Epic would be their top choice.

athenahealth had the most mindshare among small independent practices (< 11 physicians). Respondents said the vendor's technology is a good fit and allows them to reduce the number of vendors they use.

While Epic does not currently offer its EHR/PM offering directly to small independent practices, many respondents using other EHRs noted that Community Connect is available through local hosts. Some respondents said they would hypothetically consider this option to lower costs and increase system usability, stability, and functionality.

Next Steps

Dig Deeper on Clinical documentation

Cloud Computing
Mobile Computing