When you’re looking at implementing an EHR system, larger vendors can provide a real sense of safety for any practice, big or small. After all, if an EHR vendor has a big chunk of the market share, then it’s grown for a good reason. Chances are their training is top-notch, their system is (relatively) bug free, and they have a troubleshooting center that can handle whatever roadblock you run into after GoLive.
Some hospitals and clinics only consider the biggest vendors when they start the vendor selection process. This is, I believe, a mistake. Some of the smaller vendors often have a lot to offer clinics, and many are by no means “budget companies.” Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent approval of the Affordable Healthcare Act, many hospitals and clinics are going to have to find an EHR vendor soon. And to make the best decision for your clinic’s needs, a wide swath of vendors should be looked at; not just the big guns.
Take a look at the chart below, which shows the division of market share between EHR vendors.
As you can see, Allscripts and Epic have the biggest piece of the pie. But my favorite vendor, whom I believe is one of the best, is NextGen; they only have 6% market share. Clinics who overlook smaller vendors like NextGen and McKesson do themselves a real disservice by not considering these “smaller” vendors.
And of course, small is all relative. InformationWeek Healthcare recently did a piece titled, “12 EHR Vendors that Stand Out.” If you’re currently in the EHR vendor selection process, this piece is a great starting point for your research because they provide details on all 12 vendors, as well as helpful screenshots that give you a glimpse of what their system looks like. And, many of these vendors are quite small; some even specialize in certain fields such as pediatrics or dentistry.
The point in all of this is that you’re doing yourself, and your clinic, a disservice by not considering all your options. This includes the big, well-established vendors, and the smaller companies who are slowly starting to gain market share. Each option has its strengths and weaknesses, and all should be weighed carefully before you make a final decision.