New IDC Health Insights Survey of Ambulatory Providers Reveals Dissatisfaction with Ambulatory EHR

New IDC Health Insights Survey of Ambulatory Providers Reveals Dissatisfaction with Ambulatory EHRIDC Health Insights today announced the availability of a new report, Business Strategy: The Current State of Ambulatory EHR Buyer Satisfaction, (Doc #HI244027), that examines the results of an ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) satisfaction survey of 212 ambulatory and hospital-based providers conducted in September 2013 by MedData Group. The report also outlines the issues that continue to affect EHR adopters, and the sentiment regarding opportunities for replacement and optimization among users. Based on the results, while the adoption of EHR is widespread, the experience of the majority of providers working with EHR in ambulatory practices is one of dissatisfaction.

According to the results, 58% of ambulatory providers surveyed were dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, or neutral about their experience with ambulatory EHR. The two most frequent reasons for EHR dissatisfaction involved lost productivity. Issues affecting EHR productivity include poor usability, inappropriate form factors and user interfaces, access to mobile technology, workflow tools and configurations, inadequate training on the technology, inadequate staffing and support, inefficient processes, and application uptime and availability.

According to IDC Research Director Judy Hanover, "Despite achieving meaningful use, most office-based providers find themselves at lower productivity levels than before the implementation of EHR. Workflow, usability, productivity, and supplier quality issues continue to drive dissatisfaction and need to be addressed by suppliers and practices." Read Hanover's blog post about the survey results here.

Additional findings from the study include:

  • The two most frequent reasons for EHR dissatisfaction involved lost productivity — spending more time on documentation (85%) and seeing fewer patients (66%).
  • Providers that were satisfied with EHR cited the top reasons were a reduction in the number of lost or missing charts (82%), the ability to access medical records and work remotely (75%), and incentive payments (56%).
  • The top 5 tasks physicians use EHR for include: accessing patient information, documenting care, ePrescribing, viewing labs and diagnostic tests results, and entering orders.

Widespread EHR adoption in the ambulatory provider market from 2009 to 2013 was driven largely by regulatory change. According to the survey results, first and foremost, the goals for more than half of the providers (56%) that implemented EHR in recent years were regulatory compliance and qualifying for meaningful use incentives (40%). Also among the top 3 stated objectives for most providers implementing EHRs was the objective of improving the quality of care (43%). Other top objectives included improving efficiency and productivity (30%), supporting workflow (23%), and improving care team communication and collaboration (22%).

IDC Health Insights urges providers to optimize EHR and make sure that EHR use is a priority for their businesses, even after meaningful use incentive programs are completed. If EHR products do not meet requirements and optimization efforts are unsuccessful, replacement products should be considered by practices. According to the report, success and productivity with EHR will become even more important as EHR installations become the building blocks for care management, patient engagement, and patient-centered medical home operations under accountable care.

To learn more about the results of this survey, please attend the Webcast, "How Physician Perceptions of EHR Should Inform Your Marketing & Your Business," featuring Judy Hanover of IDC Health Insights and hosted by MedData Group, on November 14th at 11 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time. To register, please visit:

For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Judy Hanover, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

About IDC Health Insights

IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at


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