EMR software makers need to improve by 2016, report indicates

In recent years, the medical community has been undergoing a sea change in how it operates, with medical billing and medical records updates causing controversy due to much-debated government-imposed deadlines.

However, a new report finds that regardless of the current consensus on electronic medical records, the technology's providers will need to make changes that increase the functionality and allow it to become more user friendly in the coming years. The report, which is entitled the "IDC MarketScape: U.S.A. Ambulatory EMR/EHR for Midsize and Large Practices 2011 Vendor Assessment" assessed EMR software providers with more than 20 clients through interviews with medical professionals, delivery organizations and healthcare IT managers.

"The magnitude of the commitment that these EHR vendors need to make to produce functionality that both supports the operations of a practice and allows them to participate in Meaningful Use projects is fairly great, and I think I saw some vendors struggle under that burden while others seem to thrive," Judy Hanover, research director at IDC Health Insights, told InformationWeek in an interview.

This increase in EMR software use is expected to create a number of new businesses that aim to accommodate the needs of doctors and small medical facilities. As a result, more than a few notable publications have expressed concern that the competitive market could force out these new organizations, even ones that look bring in users with attractive maintenance and troubleshooting agreements.

As a result, doctors who are looking to complete their EMR software transition may want to work with a provider that has years of experience working with top vendors in the medical software industry, like Practice Choice or Allscripts. By taking this precaution, doctors can ensure that they are able to continue to rely on the services in their contract agreements well after the 2015 deadline for implementation.