May 15, 2012 — CureMD ranks as the number-one vendor of electronic health record (EHR) programsaccessed online solely with a Web browser, according to a new study by research firm KLAS. Close behindin second place is Practice Fusion, which has the only free system on the market. Athenahealth and Medical Informatics Engineering tied for third place in the comparison of theseinexpensive, easily implemented systems and their vendors.KLAS confined its survey to EHRs in the category of “software as a service” (SaaS). In this model, aphysician’s software and patient data are hosted offsite on a server owned by theEMRcompany or a third-party data center. All the physician needs to access the software and patient files is an Internet browser ona computer or Smartphone. SaaS is considered a form of cloud computing, which relies on remote serversto perform a variety of digital chores.The KLAS survey did not include a similar breed of EHRs hosted on a remote computer by an applicationservice provider (ASP). As with the SaaS model, a physician logs on to the EHR via an Internet browser,but the ASP model differs in that the physician must install remote-access software on his or her computers.SaaS-style EHRs appeal to small practices short on cash and computer expertise. Such systems eliminatethe need to buy an expensive server to host the software and data, according to KLAS. Subscribing to thesoftware on a monthly basis further reduces upfront costs. Physicians are relieved of high-tech jobs likeserver maintenance and software upgrades, since the vendor takes care of that on its end.KLAS interviewed roughly 300 healthcare providers who use SaaS EHRs and found that one issueseparating the good from the bad is system response time — that is, the time between a mouse click and arefreshed screen. Near instantaneous response times keep busy physicians happy. The top-rated EHRs inthe survey scored well in this regard. Another make-or-break issue is phone and Web support. SaaS EHRs programs hosted on remote serversare upgraded more frequently — as much as once a week — than programs hosted on a practicecomputer, according to KLAS. Because each upgrade comes with the risk of a glitch, speedy and experttech support is needed to minimize downtime for SaaS EHRs. As one healthcare provider told KLAS,“When we have a problem, we can’t wait two weeks. We can’t wait even five minutes.”
Lowdown on the Top Systems
Posting an overall score of 85.1 in the KLAS survey,
(www.curemd.com)was praised by providersas offering a simple-to-use EHR and backing it with a “knowledgeable, responsive support team.” SomeCureMD customers complained, however, that the software forced them to enter the same data in morethan one field. That hassle factor aside, CureMD received the highest score on the survey question, “Wouldyou buy this product again?”Second-place Practice Fusion scored 84.6 in the survey, winning kudos for being a great bargain. Thatcomes as no surprise, since physicians pay nothing for its EHR as long as they tolerate banner ads on thescreen. At the same time, Practice Fusion scored well in terms of product quality and tech support. Onedownside reported by providers is difficulty swapping information with outside computer systems belonging
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Top 10 Cloud-Based EHRs - News
May 15, 2012 — CureMD ranks as the number-one vendor of electronic health record (EHR) programs accessed online solely with a Web browser, according to a new study by research firm KLAS. Close behind in second place is Practice Fusion, which has the only free system on the market.