Four EHR Vendors Dominate Cardiology Offices


ORLANDO — The most widely used electronic health record system in cardiology practices today is GE Healthcare's Centricity, according to a survey conducted by the American College of Cardiology.

It is used by 24% of cardiology practices that have adopted electronic health record (EHR) technology. The NextGen system is No. 2 at 20%, followed by Gateway Electronic Medical Management Systems (13%), and AllScripts (10%), Dr. Janet Wright reported at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.

These four EHR brands are being used by two-thirds of the cardiology practices that have adopted EHR. The remaining practices use 28 other EHR products, a reflection of the proliferation of EHR systems being developed in response to federal financial incentives for medical practices to move to paperless records, according to Dr. Wright, ACC vice president for science and quality in Washington.

The EHR adoption survey was conducted as part of an ACC quality improvement project formerly known as Improving Continuous Cardiac Care, now incorporated into the college's PINNACLE (Practice Innovation and Clinical Excellence) Registry. PINNACLE is a prospective, practice-based, quality improvement initiative focused on ambulatory care. As of October 2009, 184 U.S. cardiology practices with more than 650 office locations had enrolled.

The autumn survey of participating practices showed that 42% use EHRs and 18% rely on paper-based medical records; 40% did not respond. Of the practices that report using EMRs, 39% are located in the South, 36% in the Midwest, and 13% in the Northeast, with the West bringing up the rear.

As EHR implementation in cardiology practices grows, it will be possible through the PINNACLE Registry to track the impact of adopting health care information technology on patient outcomes and quality of care, Dr. Wright said.

More information on the PINNACLE Registry is available at

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