Electronic health record (EHR) software has become a fundamental pillar for modern healthcare practices. These systems facilitate efficient data collection and organization, optimize administrative tasks, and enhance overall financial performance. This not only improves patient care but also optimizes clinical and operational efficiency.

However, choosing the most suitable software from the numerous options available requires a thorough EHR comparison of the features and potential drawbacks. In this blog post, we will compare the top EHR vendors in 2024 and provide a vendor assessment framework to help you make an informed decision. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Choosing the right EHR is important for efficient data management, streamlined workflows, and improved patient care 
  • Top EHR vendors in 2024 include athenahealth, AdvancedMD, Amazing Charts, Cerner EMR, and Epic Software 
  • Consider your practice size, specialty, and budget when selecting an EHR system 
  • Each EHR vendor offers unique features and functionalities 
  • A step-by-step EHR vendor assessment process is provided to guide your selection
EHR-VENDORS 6.png

1. athenahealth

athenahealth, established in 1997, has evolved into a prominent provider of cloud-based services for healthcare organizations, specializing in electronic health records (EHRs), practice management, and revenue cycle management. The company merged with Virence Health in 2019 to expand its network-enabled services. 

Moreover, athenahealth has received numerous awards and accolades. It recently received four 2024 Best in KLAS Awards, including overall independent physician practice suite. The vendor also earned recognition with the ‘Digital Health Innovation Award’ in the 7th Annual MedTech Breakthrough Awards Program.

Most users appreciate athenahealth for its easy-to-use interface and effective integration of clinical and administrative tools. 

Pricing 

athenahealth’s pricing model corresponds to your organization's collection, which makes it a flexible and scalable option.

Unique Features 

athenahealth offers a range of unique features and modules, including:

  • Integrated generative AI capabilities to reduce administrative burdens 
  • Access to a vast network of over 155,000 providers for best practices 
  • Medical dictation technology that supports hands-free documentation experience
  • HIPAA-compliant telehealth solution with a customizable video window 
  • Patient-centered mobile solutions for improved health outcomes 

Drawbacks 

While athenahealth offers a comprehensive suite of features, some users have mentioned occasional challenges with the complexity of navigating its extensive functionalities. Additionally, although the cost structure aligns with practice collections, some smaller practices may still find the overall expense high, especially when scaling up services and integrations. 

Best Use Case Scenario 

athenahealth is ideal for a diverse range of practice sizes, from small independent practices to large hospitals and healthcare systems. It caters to various specialties, such as behavioral health, orthopedics, urgent care, pediatrics, and women’s health. The platform also offers various mobile health apps such as epocrates, which allows providers to access patient records on-the-go. 

This medical record software also offers robust population health management services that help users manage populations of any size across multiple EHRs. Providers can coordinate care and engage patients wherever on the risk spectrum a healthcare organization might operate. 

2. AdvancedMD 

AdvancedMD EHR is a comprehensive cloud-based medical software solution that offers EHR, practice management, and billing tools to streamline administrative and clinical workflows for healthcare providers. Founded in 1999, the platform has now evolved to serve over 40,000 practitioners across 13,000 practices and 850 medical billing companies. 

Additionally, AdvancedMD integrates advanced technologies to enhance practice efficiency and patient care. The vendor has been recognized with several industry awards, including the 2018 MedTech EHR Innovation Award and the 2023 ISV Builder Partner of the Year Award from Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

This integration with Zoom has positioned AdvancedMD as a leader in telehealth solutions that focuses on improving patient outcomes and experiences. Also, most reviewers appreciate the software’s ease of use and great value for money. 

Pricing 

The vendor offers the following three pricing options to its users: 

  • Build a Bundle – Custom Pricing 
  • Standard Pricing – Custom Pricing 
  • RCM Price Quote – Custom Pricing 

Unique Features 

Here’s what makes AdvancedMD EHR software stand out: 

  • Custom-tailored workflow solutions for single and multi-specialties 
  • Technology-enabled patient flow solution to reduce administrative burdens 
  • All-in-one credit card processing bundle to collect payments in-person and online 
  • Integrated claim processing tools that are connected to 1,800 top carriers 
  • Task donuts to help users stay on top of their upcoming tasks 
  • Telehealth platform loaded with workflow automation features 

Drawbacks 

Despite positive feedback, some users have reported that the initial setup and customization process can be complex and time-consuming. 

Best Use Case Scenario 

AdvancedMD is ideal for small to mid-sized practices across various specialties, including mental health, cardiology, orthopedics, and pediatrics. It is particularly well-suited for independent practices. The vendor offers a range of mobile apps, including clinical, patient kiosk, front office, telemedicine, and admin connect to help users access practice data securely.

Moreover, AdvanceMD’s interoperable and customizable population health management tools support healthcare systems in enhancing the continuity of care. 

3. Amazing Charts EMR 

Founded in 2001 by a family physician who understood the challenges faced by independent practices, Amazing Charts EMR has evolved into a leading EHR solution adopted by over 6700 independent medical practices across multiple specialties. The vendor makes EHR, practice management, and medical billing solutions accessible and efficient for smaller practices, allowing them to focus more on patient care. 

Amazing Charts' commitment to user experience has been consistently recognized by industry awards. Notably, the vendor was awarded First Runner-Up in the 2015 Best in KLAS Awards in the ambulatory EMRs category. It was also ranked #1 in the 2014 Medscape/WebMD EHR Physician Report for ease of use. Users consistently praise Amazing Charts for its user-friendly interface, making it easy to learn and navigate, even for those with limited technical experience. 

Pricing 

The vendor offers the following two standard subscription plans:

  • Electronic Health Record – Starting at $229/month 
  • Practice Management – Starting at $349/month 

Unique Features 

Here’s a list of features that make Amazing Charts one of the top EHR companies on the market: 

  • Intra-messaging system to share information with other staff in the practice 
  • Intelligent dashboards that automatically prioritizes work lists 
  • Advanced claim scrubbing tools to maximize reimbursements 
  • HIPAA-compliant telehealth solution for delivering remote care 
  • Clinical quality measures (CQMs) to qualify for performance incentives 
  • Population health metrics for closing care gaps 

Drawbacks 

While Amazing Charts offers numerous benefits, the software may not be suitable for large practices or complex healthcare systems with extensive needs. 

Best Use Case Scenario 

Amazing Charts is purpose-built for independent practices, particularly for solo practitioners and small groups. It caters to a range of specialties, including family medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, surgery, and many additional specialties. 

The software also offers a comprehensive suite of population health management tools to help independent medical practices better predict disease trends within their various patient populations. 

4. Cerner EMR 

Oracle Cerner, formed in 2022 through the acquisition of Cerner Corporation by Oracle, has become a leading force in healthcare information technology. With a rich history dating back to 1979, Cerner has continuously evolved to meet the complex needs of hospitals and health systems. The vendor’s solutions focus on empowering medical professionals to deliver high-quality care while optimizing hospital operations.

Cerner EMR won the Best in KLAS 2024 award for acute care EMR in the Middle East and Africa for six consecutive years. Moreover, IDC MarketScape named Oracle a Leader in the 2023–2024 US EHR vendor assessment. User reviews note Cerner to be a reliable and adaptable platform that can handle the demands of a large healthcare system. 

Pricing 

The vendor offers flexible pricing options that can be customized according to an organization’s unique requirements. 

Unique Features 

Some of Cerner’s more advanced features include: 

  • Intelligent tools for data-driven healthcare experience 
  • Comprehensive population health solutions to improve preventative care 
  • Extensible ecosystem of partners and technologies 
  • Clinically driven revenue cycle solution to optimize financial outcomes 
  • Virtual care solution to offer a seamless telehealth experience 
  • AI-powered clinical digital assistant to transforms patient-provider interactions 

Drawbacks 

Despite the many benefits of Cerner, the comprehensive nature of the software can lead to a steeper learning curve for new users. 

Best Use Case Scenario 

Cerner caters to large hospitals and health systems seeking a comprehensive and scalable EHR solution. It is suitable for multiple healthcare specialties. The platform’s focus on population health management and advanced analytics capabilities empowers providers to make data-driven decisions, improve patient outcomes, and manage diverse patient populations efficiently. 

5. Epic Software 

Founded in 1979, Epic Software has grown into a healthcare IT giant, renowned for its comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) software. Epic's core philosophy centers on delivering a single, integrated system that caters to the complex needs of large healthcare organizations. Over the years, the vendor has continuously evolved its software to include a wide range of functionalities.

The software aims to streamline workflows and improve patient care across the healthcare continuum. Epic's dedication to innovation and user experience is evident in their consistent industry recognition. The vendor was named the top overall health IT software suite for the 14th consecutive year in the 2024 Best in KLAS Awards.

Additionally, the Epic community represents a significant portion (62%) of HIMSS Enterprise Davies winners since 2010. Many users find Epic’s electronic health records software to be a reliable and highly customizable platform that can grow and adapt alongside their organization's needs. 

Pricing 

Pricing varies based on your organization’s size, type, and requirements. 

Unique Features 

Here a few features that make Epic one of the top EHR systems: 

  • Integration with predictive AI models like GPT-4 to automate administrative tasks 
  • CRM for healthcare to provide a meaningful digital experience 
  • Telehealth visits to connect care teams and patients 
  • Advanced AI-driven RCM module streamlines billing processes 
  • Capacity command center to monitor performance goals and staff productivity 
  • Intelligent automation to transform data into actionable insights 
  • Genomics module to support clinicians who use genetic results to diagnose rare diseases 

Drawbacks 

Implementing and maintaining Epic software can be expensive, which may not make it a suitable EHR for small practice. Moreover, some users may experience a steep learning curve due to the software’s comprehensive range of functionalities. 

Best Use Case Scenario 

Epic is ideal for large healthcare networks, integrated delivery systems, and academic medical centers seeking an integrated EHR solution. It caters to many specialties, including social and community care, in-home care, wound care, rehab therapy, primary care, and behavioral health. 

Its extensive suite of population health management tools helps healthcare systems collect a wide spectrum of data from labs, risk scores, and external systems. This enables care teams to proactively identify at-risk patients, manage chronic conditions, and target preventative care efforts across their entire patient population. 

EHR Vendor Assessment And Questions To Ask Your Vendor 

Selecting the right EHR system is an important decision that can significantly impact your practice's workflow, efficiency, and patient care delivery. This section will equip you with a step-by-step methodology for conducting a thorough EHR vendor assessment, followed by a comprehensive list of questions to ask potential vendors.

Here's a roadmap to guide you through the EHR vendor assessment process: 

Ehr-vendor-Assessment.png

1. Set Smart Goals 

Define your organization's specific needs and desired outcomes. What are your key areas for improvement? Are you looking to streamline administrative tasks, enhance patient engagement, or improve clinical decision-making? Clearly defined goals will guide your vendor selection and ensure the chosen EHR aligns with your strategic direction. 

2. Determine Your EHR Requirements 

Consider factors like your practice size, specialty, and patient population. Do you require features for appointment scheduling, e-prescribing, population health management, or specific functionalities relevant to your specialty? Additionally, evaluate factors like budget, user-friendliness, and vendor reputation. 

3. Develop Vendor Question List 

Create a list of questions to ask potential vendors based on your needs and priorities. You can refer to our sample question list in the next section for a template. 

4. Conduct Vendor Analysis 

Use online resources and trusted sources to research potential EHR vendors. Conduct your research through industry websites, software review platforms, and recommendations from colleagues to create a shortlist of vendors that appear to align with your requirements. 

5. Review Shortlisted Vendors 

Conduct a more detailed analysis of your shortlisted vendors. Explore resources like online demos, user reviews, and data comparisons to gain a deeper understanding of each system's capabilities and potential drawbacks. 

6. Request Additional Information

Once you've narrowed down your options, reach out to your final vendor candidates. Request additional information, such as product brochures, case studies, or pricing details. Consider scheduling site visits or requesting online demonstrations to experience the software’s functionalities firsthand. 

7. Make Your Decision 

Carefully conduct an EHR software comparison of the shortlisted vendors based on your initial goals, gathered data, and identified needs. Evaluate how each EHR aligns with your smart goals and supports your vision for improvement. Finally, select the vendor that best demonstrates the potential to deliver optimal results for your practice. 

Negotiate EHR Vendor Contracts 

Once you've chosen a vendor, inform them of your decision and initiate contract negotiations. Negotiate pricing with your EHR vendor to secure a fair and transparent agreement that clearly outlines pricing, implementation timelines, training, and support services. If negotiations stall, move on to the next suitable vendor on your list. 

After assessing potential vendors, you should delve deeper into the specifics of each option by asking targeted questions.

Further Questions 

Here are additional questions to explore with each vendor: 

Security And Compliance: 

  • How does your EHR system ensure HIPAA compliance and patient data security? 
  • What safeguards are in place to protect against cyberattacks and data breaches? 
  • Do you offer disaster recovery solutions and how quickly can you restore data in case of an outage? 
  • How does your EHR help ensure regulatory compliance for new healthcare practices

Interoperability: 

  • Does your EHR integrate seamlessly with other healthcare systems we use, like practice management software, labs, or imaging systems? 
  • Can we easily exchange patient data electronically with other providers involved in a patient's care? 

Customization: 

  • To what extent can we customize the EHR to fit our specific workflows and practice needs? 
  • Can we create custom templates, reports, or order sets? 

Pricing Questions 

Keep in mind the following questions when discussing pricing with potential vendors: 

  • Can you provide a detailed breakdown of all associated costs, including licensing fees, implementation fees, ongoing maintenance fees, and any additional per-user charges? 
  • Are there any hidden costs we should be aware of? 
  • What payment options do you offer (e.g., upfront purchase, subscription model)? 
  • Are there any discounts available for signing a multi-year contract? 

Migration Questions 

Consider these questions to understand how vendors handle data migration: 

  • How will you assist us in migrating our existing patient data to your EHR system? 
  • What is the estimated timeframe for data migration? 
  • Do you offer any downtime guarantees during the transition process? 

Training And Support Questions 

Here’s what you should ask vendors to ensure they provide comprehensive training and reliable support: 

  • What training programs and resources do you offer to help our staff learn and use the new EHR system effectively? 
  • What level of ongoing technical support is included in your pricing plan? 
  • How quickly can we expect a response to support inquiries? 

By asking these questions and following the above-mentioned vendor assessment steps, you can make an informed decision and select the EHR solution that best aligns with your practice's needs and budget. 

Let Us Help You Get Started! 

Choosing the right EHR system is a major decision, and we understand the complexities involved. The EHR companies reviewed in this piece stand out from the market due to their robust functionalities, commitment to innovation, and established track records. However, it's important to understand that a one-size-fits-all solution may not exist.

You need to consider your unique practice needs and budget to make the best choice. Use our EHR vendor quality checklist or contact us at (661) 384-7070 for personalized guidance. We will help you identify the EHR system that best aligns with your practice requirements.