Epic Community Connect Leads for FQHC EHR Functionality, Satisfaction

Epic Community Connect clients said the solution is evolving to meet their needs and expect the vendor to continue adding FQHC EHR functionality.

Federally qualified health center (FQHC) clients of Epic Community Connect are most consistently satisfied with EHR functionality compared to other vendors’ customer bases, according to a KLAS report.

Respondents unanimously cited the Epic Community Connect EHR as a core strength for its stable and robust functionality. However, some clients noted difficulties accessing needed data and reporting for UDS measures.

athenahealth clients say the integrated EMR/PM solution allows FQHCs to document easily and operate efficiently. Some organizations said the vendor should better align the product with FQHC workflows and provide stronger UDS reporting. Additionally, the report found that nearly 60 percent of athenahealth respondents want the vendor to focus on improving the behavioral health module.

NextGen Healthcare customers scored the vendor highest for functionality, but provider satisfaction with functionality is variable. FQHCs say the vendor’s key strength is reporting for UDS measures, A/R, and other financial metrics. Common challenges among dissatisfied respondents include issues with the patient portal and insufficient patient intake capabilities.

Respondents said Greenway Health’s practice management system handles complex FQHC billing well. Multiple clients noted product shortcomings for population health, patient intake, and virtual care.

Limited data from eClinicalWorks respondents revealed that while the vendor offers a lot of functionalities for the price, the cost is not worth the quality issues across modules. eClinicalWorks received the lowest score among measured vendors for overall value and providing needed functionality.

The report found that most FQHCs either plan to implement a comprehensive health IT solution or have already done so.

NextGen Healthcare respondents said the broad platform is more efficient than a less-integrated approach. Since the EHR vendor operates exclusively in the ambulatory space, FQHCs said the vendor can focus on their needs and provide customizable workflows. Commonly reported issues include patient portal integration and data flow between dental and PM modules.

All Epic Community Connect respondents said they are moving or plan to move to an integrated care model with the vendor. Satisfied clients said functionality is the main reason they chose Epic. Improvement opportunities include how the EHR handles patient transfers and a lack of training for the dental module.

Greenway Health respondents gave mixed reviews on the functionality’s ability to support an integrated care model. While some cited easy data sharing, others mentioned challenges sharing data between departments.

athenahealth customers reported struggling to move toward an integrated care model. The vendor has historically not provided a dental solution, leading customers to use third-party tools. athenahealth recently launched a dental solution, but KLAS has not collected customer feedback on it yet.

All interviewed NextGen Healthcare customers reported strong relationships with the vendor. Respondents said executives and representatives are helpful and concerned with customers’ success.

Users of athenahealth said they appreciate that the EHR’s strong clinical functionality supports their mission, and some say the vendor has gotten better at serving FQHCs’ unique needs. However, others still noted the need for improved UDS functionality, reporting, billing, and FQHC-based workflows.

The Greenway Health customers who are most satisfied with the EHR vendor’s ability to support their mission cite minimal integration issues. Respondents who experience integration challenges rate the vendor lower, saying a lack of easy data sharing impedes their mission.

Epic users said the solution is evolving to meet their needs and expect the vendor to continue adding FQHC-specific functionality. Several Community Connect customers have experienced problems with their hosts (including a lack of training and slow resolution times) and want more support for their mission via improved workflows.

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