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Epic Systems, athenahealth, MEDITECH Top 2021 Best in KLAS Awards

Although Epic Systems was presented 11 Best in KLAS awards, athenahealth, MEDITECH, and Cerner excelled.

Epic Systems proved its supremacy over its EHR vendor competitors, taking home 11 Best in KLAS 2021 awards, highlighted by the Top Overall Software Suit for the 11th straight year and the Top Overall Physician Practice Vendor.  

The EHR vendor took a step forward from 2020 when it secured eight Best in KLAS awards.

In the Top Overall Software Suite rankings, Epic narrowly defeated MEDITECH Expanse, 86.9 to 85 on the 100-point scale. Epic placed “well above average” in seven categories, including acute care EHR, ambulatory EHR, and home health. This was the second straight year that MEDITECH placed second for the Top Overall Software Suite. Cerner ranked right behind MEDITECH with a score of 72.3.

Epic also ranked first in Overall Physician Practice Vendor rankings. Epic edged out athenahealth and NextGen Healthcare, which tied for second place, with a score of 87.9 to 80.9 on the 100-point scale. Epic Systems scored “well above average” in the over 75 physicians and 11 to 75 physicians practice size segments.

The Epic Systems MyChart patient portal also topped its fellow vendors for the fourth year in a row. athenahealth’s athenaCommunicator had the second-highest ranked patient portal for the second straight year.

athenahealth’s athenaPractice EHR won the Most Improved Physician Practice Product. Its customers said the vendor has improved setting product enhancement expectations, enhanced its relationships with its customers, and upgraded its executive involvement.

“In the last couple of years, I have seen a big difference in athenahealth’s engagement with the customer,” said an anonymous nurse.

“The vendor is more receptive,” the anonymous nurse continued. “Before, if we needed something, we had to reach out. Now athenahealth reaches out to us to see how we are doing. The communication is there. That has been great because we can sometimes avoid problems and misunderstandings with the vendor. I have seen changes. I don’t know whether athenahealth is talking to KLAS, but they are talking to somebody and listening to somebody. I think that is great.”

MEDITECH was the top performer in Acute Care EMR (Community Hospital), Home Health EHR (small 1-200 average daily census), and Patient Accounting & Patient Management (Community Hospital).

“The (Expanse) platform is very slick and smooth,” said an anonymous MEDITECH customer. “I could be shuffling from the ambulatory setting to the acute setting to the ED setting very easily, provided I had user privileges in all of those settings. The transition is basically seamless from one setting to another. The chart organization is identical. No matter what setting I am in, I don't have to learn a completely different set of workflows. The workflows are very similar in all areas of the product.”

Cerner won Best in KLAS for Behavioral Health for the second consecutive year and placed in the top four in several key categories. Behavioral health issues are an underfunded and overlooked area of the healthcare industry, forcing the need for more comprehensive EHR platforms.

KLAS Research surveyed over 22,000 healthcare professionals from 4,500 healthcare organizations. In total, about 800 health IT products and services were ranked.

“Each year, thousands of healthcare professionals across the globe take the time to share their voice with KLAS,” said Adam Gale, president of KLAS Research. “They know that sharing their perspective helps vendors improve and helps their peers make better decisions.”

“These conversations are a constant reminder of how necessary accurate, honest, and impartial reporting is in the healthcare industry,” Gale concluded. “Provider and payer organizations are demanding excellence from their software and services vendors, and they know that Best in KLAS sets the standard.”

KLAS also unveiled new market segments in 2021, highlighted by Home Health EHR, Social Determinants of Health Networks, and EMR-Centric Virtual Care Platforms.

These awards will be accepted at the Virtual Best in KLAS Awards Reception on February 23.

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