Black Book Rankings announced on Friday that its EHR survey standards will be rigidly audited to remove ballots cast by provider organizations that serve as the resellers, VARs and/or channel partners. Black Book’s recent survey inspection of the nearly 29,000 EHR user ballots collected from Q3 2014 to Q1 2015 discovered 33 hospital resellers casting EHR satisfaction and loyalty responses for 740 physician practices. This discovery prompted supplementary audits and an extended resurveying phase to resolve what Black Book deems intentional bias.
Supplementary Audit Findings
The research firm also determined that 93 percent of physician practices and small hospitals that procured an EHR product directly from the CIO’s office of a flagship hospital felt obligated to only select that EHR from the hospital reseller. 730 of 740 resurveyed physician practices admitted they feared facing financial consequences from declining those EHR implementations including:
– interrupted referral streams
– segregation from clinician data sharing and accountable care organizations
– exclusion from important hospital communications.
“It’s not Black Book’s issue that community physicians were pressured into implementing a particular EHR from their leader hospital,” said Doug Brown, Partner of Black Book in a statement. “Black Book’s issue is that the hospital IT managers responsible for (re)selling and overseeing system implementations for particular EHR suites were also grading the product satisfaction and service delivery perceptions on behalf of providers they actually sold to.”
A post-survey sampling of 800 community physicians and inpatient facilities under 100 beds that participated in Black Book’s 2015 EHR user polls identified 48% of larger hospital channel partners were taking liberties in scoring the satisfaction of EHR products in network physician practices in place of, or in tandem with, independent end users.
“That is no different than soliciting a salesman to rate his own merchandise, which in turn leads to improved or influenced sales,” said Brown. “We determined it was judicious to disallow hospital channel partners from rating their physician clients’ satisfaction and loyalty, in order that Black Book could get a more accurate measurement of true user experiences in 2015.” stated Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.
Internal Audit Review Findings
Black Book’s internal review revealed that hospital managers selling EHR products directly to community physicians and other inpatient facilities also on average rated that EHR up to 49% higher in satisfaction and 73% higher in vendor loyalty than the actual physicians and staff using the product.
As a result of these findings, Black Book has delayed the announcement of their annual top rankings of EHRs from the annual January time frame to mid-March 2015, in order to complete the resurvey and audits of over 3,000 more respondents.
Black Book’s internal review also uncovered that:
– 96% of physician practices resurveyed stated they are unsure if the hospital reselling their EHR actually reap profits from the vendor from the sale or maintenance of the EHR.
– 80% of physicians that replaced their original EHRs for a hospital’s network EHR in 2014 felt the pressure to concede to the EHR the hospital that was reselling, or being ultimately left out of community health information exchanges, referral networks, physician alerts and patient portals.
Despite the two month delay in their 2015 EHR research reporting, Black Book hopes this year’s improved methodology/approach will solidify their reputation for elevated objectivity in satisfaction and EHR vendor loyalty surveying.