Hospitals: Urgent Care Centers Are Ready To Buy (Incompatible) EMRs

Hospitals, if you’re going to have input into how urgent care firms choose their EMR, now is the time. According to a new study from your friend and mine, KLAS, urgent care players are growing and ready to add an EMR to their IT shopping list.

At present, leaders of the estimated 9,000 urgent care centers in the U.S. are beginning to choose between ambulatory EMRs, ED solutions, and best-of-breed urgent care EMRs.  Hospital IT leaders, maybe this is the time to find out technology works for them; once the urgent care centers make their actual investment, it’ll be a lot harder to convince them that you might have something better or easier to use for data sharing.

In its research, KLAS focused directly on three vendors that it deemed “best of breed,” CodoniX, DocuTap and Practice Velocity, as well as taking an early look at Integritas. KLAS interviewed 76 urgent care organizations about their EMR’s performance,  especially how they rated in patient safety/efficiency, reporting and charge capture, and vendor support/communication.

For once, even KLAS admits that this research led to a photo finish, with Practice Velocity seeming edging out its competitors but still grouped very closely with the others score wise. In other words, KLAS doesn’t think any of these  have established a clear lead just yet. I have little doubt that we’ll have some leaders in 12, hey, maybe six months but for now it’s a toss-up.

So whose vendor will win?   It’s not clear yet. Report author Eric Bermudez notes that (as we might have predicted), urgent care centers which are part of chain tend to use a best of breed vendor.  Meanwhile, hospital-affiliated locations apparently often the hospital’s in-house ED or ambulatory EMR, he told HealthcareITNews. But even these are just hunches at this point, it seems.

Bermudez’ comments make sense, but let’s dig a little deeper than that. Do we want to let urgent care centers largely go their own way and hope that their affiliated doctors want to grow closer with well-integrated solutions? I wouldn’t if I were you.

I guess what I’m saying is that if we know urgent care players are on the move, readying themselves to spend on possibly incompatible solutions, now’s the time to be holding meetings, holding hands and pitching the heck out of the advantages of integrating with hospital software.  Let the dog and pony show begin!

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.


  • Why on earth would a stand-alone urgent care center care what a hospital system has to say about an EMR? In urgent care, it’s workflow or bust. 27 clicks for a lac repair (Epic) is not going to pay the bills.

  • Agree with Brian, in UCC its the workflow which is more important. I used to work with concentra and the process they used to chose EMR for UCC was not pretty at all.

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