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Customer says eClinicalWorks holding patient data ‘hostage’

As eClinicalWorks faces a attainable class motion lawsuit and the potential for shoppers to modify to rival EHR distributors, some clients are coming ahead with complaints about their remedy. The firm countered that it’s nonetheless signing up new healthcare organizations and a minimum of one consumer has observed the seller altering its methods.

At May’s finish, the U.S. Department of Justice – in a settlement that included a $155 million fine – mandated that the EHR vendor both improve present clients’ software program totally free or transfer their data to a rival’s electronic health record platform.

The questions arising now are how the seller will transfer ahead, what modifications present and potential clients may anticipate and whether or not early indications that it’s reinvigorating concentrate on clients will proceed into the longer term.

Customer complaints

“We’ve been held hostage for a year and a half. I battled them,” stated Laura Williams, apply administrator at North Spokane Women’s Health in Washington. “It’s a nightmare with them.”

Williams’ issues started almost two years in the past when North Spokane Women’s Health began the change to GE Healthcare’s Centricity. When the clinic requested a replica of its patient data information, they have been informed that eClinicalWorks would cost $25,000 for the information, stated Williams, noting that the supply was made with none assure that the data can be in a usable format.

[Also: Concerned the eClinicalWorks fiasco could happen to your EHR? Take these steps now]

“My doctors said ‘we’re not giving them another penny. We already paid through the nose,’” Williams added.

eClinicalWorks spokeswoman Bhakti Shah responded that the corporate’s data possession coverage is obvious.

“Customers own the patient data. Anytime a customer cancels, eClinicalWorks offers the option to transfer the data on an eCW supplied or customer-provided hard drive,” Shah famous. “We are unsure what the customer means by eCW holding data hostage.”

Improving lackluster service and help?

Black Book managing companion Doug Brown has been conducting years of analysis about eClinicalWorks and its rivals within the EHR market.

“eClinicalWorks clients revealed very low confidence when they scored corporate leadership, mismanaged marketing and sales mischief, and consistently terrible offshore contact center support service for the past six consecutive years of Black Book polls,” Brown stated.

And that’s even though Black Book additionally persistently discovered eClinicalWorks scoring within the prime 5 % of doctor satisfaction rankings courting all the best way again to 2011.

“eClinicalWorks product was found solid and priced to meet expectations,” Brown stated. “But the performance indicators measuring the managerial accountability and ethics revealed the company’s clients were aware and speaking up about the issues. But they did not improve in the scoring between 2011 and 2017.”

That could possibly be beginning to change because the DOJ settlement, based on shopper Andrew Tomkiewicz, IT director of Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

[Also: DOJ will probe more EHR vendors for false claims, sources say]

“If nothing else eClinicalWorks seems to be paying extra attention to customers now,” Tomkiewicz added. “I have seen an improvement in their responsiveness.”

Black Book, in reality, carried out a post-settlement ballot to gauge whether or not the corporate is ramping up its customer support.

“It appears there is some notable improvement in the support to established clients,” Brown stated. “Still, their reputation is sliding further in terms of trust, ethics, culture, accountability, transparency.”

Shah, of eClinicalWorks, countered that its “independent team at eCW” conducts surveys. “We have great customer service and ratings and that’s the reason why our business is doing extremely well.”

Former eClinicalWorks worker and present HIT marketing consultant Justin Sleeper added that the corporate has lengthy taken clients and worker enhancement requests critically.

“I made a number of recommendations while I was there,” Sleeper stated. “From what I might see, eClinicalWorks was getting so many enhancement requests they needed to prioritize which have been greatest and people have been those which have been despatched to product improvement for launch into the system.”

Back in Eastern Washington, Laura Williams stated that North Spokane Women’s Health had not paid the $25,000 cost and was not given the data information, so the clinic continued to make use of the eClinicalWorks software in read-only mode. That is, till the DOJ settlement was introduced. On the subsequent day, the system appeared to give up working.

[Also: Not just Epic and Cerner: Hospitals have several EHR options if they abandon eClinicalWorks]

Williams contacted eClinicalWorks, informing them she would file a proper grievance with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT — and that was the primary time Williams stated she ever heard again from the corporate same-day.

“The IT people at eClinicalWorks never were able to fix the program errors, but our IT guy came up with a solution that at least has us able to access our patient records,” Williams stated. “If I can get my patient data migrated to Centricity that will be enough.”

Moving forward however not but revealing future intent

In the weeks because the DOJ settlement, eClinicalWorks has publicized what appear to be three fairly constructive developments. And the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services added one other of its personal that’s sure to assist eClinicalWorks retain at the least some clients.

In early June, the corporate gained a federally certified health middle contract with Ezras Choilim Health Center, in Kiryas Joel, New York, to offer eClinicalWorks 10e cloud-based software program for EHR and inhabitants health providers.

Later in June, the seller introduced that it related shopper Eagle Physicians & Associates with Cone Health, UNC-Chapel Hill Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Novant Health to exchange patient data with Epic EHRs. Eagle CMIO Robert Fried, MD, stated the trade entailed eCW placing “significant resources into interoperability and providing it to users at no additional cost.”

The firm additionally injected telehealth functionality into its Healow wellness app to allow docs and sufferers to conduct digital go to utilizing smartphones after which import any related data instantly into the EHR.

What’s extra, CMS put many purchasers’ prime concern to relaxation on July 6 by revealing that it’ll not require eClinicalWorks shoppers to repay significant use EHR incentive cash they earned utilizing the software program that fraudulently gained certification.

Shah stated that “eClinicalWorks had the highest sales this year in the month of June. And it was the best month for our pop health sales.” As with personal corporations, nevertheless, verifying that’s one other matter altogether.

HealthcareIT News obtained a letter that eClinicalWorks despatched to its clients stating that two weeks after the DOJ settlement it had signed 55 new clients, added greater than 600 suppliers and is anticipating to surpass 10,000 further suppliers in 2017. It can also be projecting revenues of $475 million within the core EHR and follow administration area in addition to $25 million from Healow.

As for whether or not prime executives intend to remake eClinicalWorks right into a extra customer-centric vendor or not, nicely, that is still elusive as of press time.

Healthcare IT News repeatedly requested eClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani to touch upon future plans however he declined.

Twitter: SullyHIT
Email the author: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com


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