EMR and EHR Rating Websites

There are a number of EMR and EHR rating websites out there. The problem that I have is that none of them are really very good at all. They all have MAJOR weaknesses and some are just completely and utterly flawed. Some require the EMR and EHR vendors to pay them to be rated. Doesn’t that just wreak of conflict of interest?

There’s just so many ways to have the ratings of EMR and EHR vendors be skewed. Dr. Oates, Founder of SOAPware, recently wrote a blog post about the problems with many of the EMR and EHR rating websites and reports. Certainly he has a vested interest in his EMR software to be ranked highly, but this part aside he raises some very important questions about the accuracy and value of these various ranking systems.

Here’s one sample of the challenge of ranking and rating EMR and EHR vendors:

In addition to accepting user evaluations, many of the ranking systems require that vendors also fill in yes/no to a large list of features. Historically, many vendors have demonstrated tendencies to answer “yes” to functionalities to which a “no” would have been more accurate. Because we tend to answer honestly, we have sometimes ended up inaccurately appearing to be less functional than some others.
There are inherent problems with each of these surveys in that the survey results can, and often are, manipulated by the vendors who are paying a the most of attention to them. Because these surveys are the result of users offering information, some vendors will expend great effort to be certain that many, mostly happy users of their product are in some fashion encouraged to participate in the surveys. SOAPware has typically avoided such activities, because it ends up being a game to see who can motivate the most satisfied users to engage the ranking system.

This is just a small sample of the challenges of trying to honestly and effectively get quality ratings and reviews of EMR and EHR vendors. Yet, providers and practice managers have an insatiable appetite to try and get information on the various EMR and EHR vendors.

Trust me, this is not an easy issue. If I knew the solution, I’d have already done it myself. I write about this since I think it’s a valuable and important message for doctors to be very very careful trusting any of the data coming out of these EMR and EHR ratings websites. Instead, go download the Free copy of my EMR Selection e-Book and do the work necessary to rate them based on your specific practice needs.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

8 Comments

  • I could not agree with you more. You can find independent rating systems for almost everything, from coffee makers to video games to cars, but you cannot find a truly independent, unbiased rating system for EMR and EHR. I would have hoped (and thought) that an independent review source would have already developed given the significant push for EHR adaptation with the current CMS/ONC initiative. There is clearly a need for this, but unfortunately the EHR vendors are probably one of the few sources for funding for such a program. Perhaps some government funding through ONC should have been directed to establish this kind of independent rating system.

  • It seems political games are not exclusive to just campaigning during elections.
    If we cannot trust the reliability of web published EMR/EHR ratings, then are we not to trust the surveys and polls conducted by the professional organizations or the selections by the Regional Exchange Centers either? I can’t recall ever researching something so thoroughly and have so much information available to me and yet be still so utterly confused.

  • Kenneth,
    How do you make sure they are doctors reviewing the site? How do you know that it’s not just the EMR vendors asking the doctors to do it? How do you know it’s not the competitors of certain EHR vendors doing it? etc etc etc.

    Nice to say that you have unbiased reviews, but how can you make that claim? What do you do to ensure that 1. they’re unbiased and 2. that they’re real reviews?

  • John,

    That is why the sample size is important. Just as with Amazon, the more reviews associated with a product, the more I trust the quality of the rating.

    What bingmed.com provides is the template and the foundation to obtain unbiased, independent reviews. There are a lot of complaints out there from a lack of EMR independent rating. But we only are gonna get those ratings if each MD is willing to set aside a little time to put in the reviews.

    A compilation of large volume of reviews is the only valid way to get unbiased rating of EMR.

  • Ken,
    Looks like bingmed suffers from the same problems as them all. Just like you said, it’s just a template, but right now I couldn’t find any volume. Plus, you have A4 as the owner of the Allscripts EMR. That’s obviously a mistake.

    I agree that the problem is getting MD’s willing to set aside not just a little time, but a pretty good amount of time to do a review for their colleagues. That’s a hard motivation to do with any sort of volume.

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