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Epic, NextGen Healthcare, athenahealth Boast Top EHR Training

Epic, NextGen Healthcare, and athenahealth customers topped their EHR vendor competitors in EHR training quality, which is one of the main ingredients for EHR satisfaction.

Epic, NextGen Healthcare, and athenahealth led the top large ambulatory EHR vendors in quality EHR training and clinician preparedness, according to a recent KLAS report.

Although high-quality EHR training is crucial for EHR satisfaction, KLAS data confirmed EHR training is difficult and the top vendors agreed they have room for improvement.

KLAS surveyed 18,000 doctors and nurses from large ambulatory organizations with more than 75 physicians to evaluate how EHR vendors provide training, personalization, patient-centered care, and proficiency.

Epic user respondents gave the vendor a 7.4 on a 9-point scale for quality of training and the top score of 7.2 on clinician preparedness to use the EHR. Its customers attributed user EHR success partly to the vendor’s training efforts.

“Clients say that Epic’s train-the-trainer model has been mostly effective; trainers at client organizations receive high-quality EMR education from Epic and are then responsible for training their own organization,” wrote KLAS. “Additionally, because of Epic’s standardized implementations, the online training resources and documentation are well suited to help struggling clinician users.”

NextGen Healthcare customers ranked their vendor a 7.5 in training quality, but had incomplete data to reveal clinician preparedness to utilize the EHR. Respondents agreed EHR training is most effective when the vendor is involved and the vendor excels in that department.

athenahealth clients said they received minimal training from the vendor, but credited the EHR system’s intuitiveness for its success. However, they noted a robust set of online training resources, which boosted the vendor’s score to a 7.1 for clinician preparedness.

Epic, MEDITECH, and NextGen topped their competitors in EHR personalization and KLAS said the results showed the direct correlation between EHR personalization and EHR satisfaction. All three vendors scored an 8 or above on the 9-point scale.

Epic customers reported high satisfaction with vendor’s personalization tools and some respondents described these tools as the vendor’s “biggest strength.”

Although there was limited data available, MEDITECH customers ranked their vendor the highest, scoring an 8.4. MEDITECH’s personalization tools were much-improved in recent years.

Next, respondents said athenahealth, Cerner, and Epic had the top efficiency and training measurement tools that help identify clinicians who need extra EHR assistance.

athenahealth customers praised the CareCheck tool that gives customized reporting and dashboards based on the user. The tool also boosts clinician efficiency and focuses on certain EHR attributes to improve usability.

Cerner users described the Lights On Network tool as “incredible” and one customer said it was one of the best things the vendor has done in 20 years. Users can leverage the tool to measure EHR performance and usability against their respective peers.

Epic respondents said the vendor has improved the Epic Signal tool that helps evaluate individual EHR usage. The vendor increased the number of metrics and it is now more useful for ambulatory providers.

Next, Epic, MEDITECH, and NextGen Healthcare received the best feedback from its customers regarding EHR support of patient-centered care. On a 9-point scale, Epic scored a 7.8 and NextGen tallied a 7.6. MEDITECH scored a 7.9, but with limited data.  

Epic customer respondents acknowledged the vendor’s detailed training during implementation. Epic users said the customized workflow helps them focus on the patient, rather than the EHR system during patient visits.

“I find the system to be very usable,” an anonymous physician said about Epic. “Over time, I have seen a lot of things be improved, and that is one of the reasons I like the system. Epic invests a lot in trying to think about improvements. Compared to the EHR I worked on previously, the usability is a lot more intuitive and is consistently improving. I would certainly recommend the system.”

MEDITECH providers said the vendor has made significant improvements surrounding its patient-centered care and its users said the software is both intuitive and easy to use.

“If a patient comes to me for a visit, I spend something like 1 minute on the technology piece and 15 minutes with them,” an anonymous chief information officer remarked.

“This solution has given me the power and tools to handle the technological aspect of patient care in MEDITECH a short period of time,” the CIO continued. “I am able to provide better patient care with this product. We have seen that our patients’ satisfaction ratings are getting higher and higher each month. Patients are more satisfied with the care they are receiving, and Expanse Ambulatory EHR deserves some credit for that.”

NextGen respondents agreed that the vendor has improved the product to meet user workflow needs. NextGen users added that the vendor is flexible and allows providers to customize the workflow to meet their needs.

"The system is very easy for end users, and NextGen Healthcare is excellent at delivering new technology,” said an anonymous health IT manager. “They are constantly upgrading and adding feature sets to make it easier to treat patients."

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