Large Physician Groups Measurably More Satisfied With EHR Usability, Interoperability and Productivity Improvements Than Small Practices, Finds 2015 Black Book Survey

Nearly two thirds of physician practices with more than 25 clinicians surveyed commended the enhancements in functionality, service and innovation with top ranked vendors in Q2 2015. Multispecialty Clinics, IPAs and large group practices narrowed down an elite group of electronic health record systems across eighteen probing key performance indicators from a field of over 400 qualified EHRs.

Aug 18, 2015, 19:00 ET from Black Book

CLEARWATER, Fla., Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Black Book™ well known internationally for accurate, impartial customer satisfaction surveys in the services and software industries, conducted its annual ambulatory user poll to determine the highest ranked Electronic Health and Medical Record organizations for 2015. As part of a special research focus on several specialty physician EHR users, Black Book Rankings surveyed the clients of EHR vendors with the highest scores in customer experience in the areas of Document Management, Productivity, Practice Administration, Reporting, Interoperability and Order Entry and Decision Support.

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Black Book™ identified a shift upward in physician experience across the large practice and clinic sector, since first measuring EHR satisfaction six years ago. In 2013, 92% of multispecialty groups using electronic records were "very dissatisfied" with the ability of their systems to improve clinical workload, documentation and user functionalities.  In 2015, comparably, 71% of all large practice clinicians stated their optimization expectations of top ranked Black Book EHR vendors were being met or exceeded according to physician and clinician experience. 82% of administrative and support staff declared upgraded operational and financial developments, as well.

The top four ranked EHR vendors focused on the large group practice sector of medical care delivery: Allscripts, Greenway, McKesson and athenahealth recorded the largest increases in client satisfaction over the past twelve months.

According to Black Book survey results of 1,304 large practices, overall satisfaction improved as follows:

Physician experience satisfaction, from 8% (2013), to 31% (2014) to 67% in Q2 2015.

Physician documentation improvements, from 10% (2013), to 28% (2014) to 63% in Q2 2015.

Practice productivity enhancements, from 7% (2013), to 17% (2014) to 68% in Q2 2015.

Users of the top four ranked EHR systems agreed that vendor investments in 2014 and 2015 have attributed update and releases (34%), practice assessments (44%), clinical workflow enhancements (60%), revenue cycle management and analytics value adds (89%), population health capabilities (33%) and solicited physician feedback (90%) have contributed the most to their rise in overall system satisfaction.

Significant decreases in satisfaction were also noted by users of several clinic oriented EHR users that failed in regional connectivity attempts (76%), implementation and training (77%), and customer support (85%).

"Meaningful use deadlines, total integration and reliable delivery may have influenced large group practice buyers to purchase initial EHRs from 2010 through 2013, but replacement buyers sought better EHR tools in 2014 that include patient engagement, true interoperability, enhanced usability and productivity gains," said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book. "There was also a measureable shift in loyalty to vendors that offered a robust, core EHR to accommodate evolving reforms."   

Among those surveyed, Black Book revealed 18% of implemented large practices and clinics are in the discussion or execution stages of replacing their original EHR by 2016 year end.

Opportunities for product penetration among current client bases of the  top ranked EHR vendors was also recorded in the 2015 survey.  

"EHR firms with a wide offering of products including health information exchange, population health tools, revenue cycle management services, patient portals, dashboards and analytics are emerging as the next wave of healthcare technology leaders," said Brown. "These leading vendors are assisting their clients in assessing current practice operations to meet the demands of ICD-10, payment reform, connectivity beyond closed networks, revenue cycle management gaps, and population health tools, and recommending effective options within the same vendor suite."

According to large practice executives and physicians, the primary reasons for top vendors succeeding in product penetration into their current client bases in the second half of 2015 include:

Client education (42%)

Product bundling (31%) and

Marketing (26%)

Based on the aggregate client experience and customer satisfaction scores on eighteen key performance indicators, Allscripts ranked first across all surveyed electronic health records systems for large practice categories of 26-99 physicians, and 100+ physicians.  This is the second consecutive year Allscripts has achieved the top ranking for 100+ physician groups including independent practice associations, multispecialty clinics, academic practices, and large group clinics.

Allscripts also ranked in top spot for 26-99 physician group satisfaction for the first time, surpassing Epic Systems, eClinicalworks and QSI NextGen who have alternated top rankings in the past few years.

Other top scoring multispecialty clinic and IPA centric EHR vendors included in the Black Book survey process since 2010 include Greenway, McKesson, athenahealth and Cerner. 

MCIS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marshfield Clinic (Wisconsin) also ranked in the top echelon of large practice EHRs in Q2 2015, their first appearance in the annual polling.

Other findings include:

Clinics and large practices implementing an original EHR prior to Q4 2012 were the most dissatisfied (71%) with their EHR vendor's performance in 2015.

62% of primary care and medical specialists in large group practices report a return to normal levels of productivity after rolling out their EHR systems.  53% of surgical specialists in large group practices reported productivity enhancements over 2014.

More results and survey methodology may be found at

Black Book™, its founders, management and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results and does not solicit vendor participation fees, review fees, inclusion or briefing charges, and/or vendor collaboration as Black Book polls vendors' clients

Since 2000, Black Book™ has polled the vendor satisfaction across over thirty industries in the software and services sectors around the globe. In 2009, Black Book began polling the client experience, of over 380,000 current healthcare software and managed services users. Black Book expanded its survey prowess and reputation of independent, unbiased crowdsourced surveying to electronic healthcare records professionals, physician practice administrators, and hospital information technology managers. Over 27,000 EHR users participated in the 2015 polls of client experience in a sweeping five month study. Additionally, 6,000 study participants that have not yet fully implemented or using enterprise electronic health records provided insight on budgeting, adoption plans, factors driving EHR decisions and vendor awareness.

Black Book provides EHR/EMR users, media, investors, analysts, quality minded vendors, and prospective software system buyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other interested sectors of the clinical technology industry with comprehensive comparison data of the industry's top respected and competitively performing technology vendors. Black Book employs in depth key performance indicators targeted at ensuring high product and service performance through comparing vendors from the customer experience.

SOURCE Black Book