Assessing hospital electronic health record vendor performance across publicly reported quality measures

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Sep 18;28(10):2101-2107. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab120.


Objective: Little is known regarding variation among electronic health record (EHR) vendors in quality performance. This issue is compounded by selection effects in which high-quality hospitals coalesce to a subset of market leading vendors. We measured hospital performance, stratified by EHR vendor, across 4 quality metrics.

Materials and methods: We used data on 1272 hospitals in 2018 across 4 quality measures: Leapfrog Computerized Provider Order Entry/EHR Evaluation, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare Star Ratings, Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) score, and Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) ratio. We examined score distributions and used multivariable regression to evaluate the association between vendor and score, recovering partial R2 to assess the proportion of quality variation explained by vendor.

Results: We found significant variation across and within EHR vendors. The largest vendor, vendor A, had the highest mean score on the Leapfrog Computerized Provider Order Entry/EHR Evaluation and HRRP ratio, vendor G had the highest Hospital Compare score, and vendor F had the highest HAC score. In adjusted models, no vendor was significantly associated with higher performance on more than 2 measures. EHR vendor explained between 1.2% (HAC) and 7.6 (HRRP) of the variation in quality performance.

Discussion: No EHR vendor was associated with higher quality across all measures, and the 2 largest vendors were not associated with the highest scores. Only a small fraction of quality variation was explained by EHR vendor choice.

Conclusions: Top performance on quality measures can be achieved with any EHR vendor; much of quality performance is driven by the hospital and how it uses the EHR.

Keywords: electronic health record; hospitals; patient safety; quality measurement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Commerce
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • United States