Home-based care providers looking to grow, or even just to survive, are increasingly turning to technology to do so.

A major part of that is EHRs. And currently, providers are generally unsatisfied with their EHR vendor relationships, according to a new survey conducted by MatrixCare and Home Health Care News.

Providers, more than anything, want more customer support, ongoing education and training from their EHR vendors.

Behind that was security and compliance, and industry expertise and knowledge. 

While providers viewed data, analytics and reporting as the most valued perk to their EHR relationships – and improving patient experience as the best value-add – survey results showed that these vendors are generally falling short when it comes to workflow dynamics.

For instance, 50% of providers said that workflow enhancements would be the best way that EHR vendors could support their organizations moving forward. Furthermore, providers also said that the best way EHRs could improve staff satisfaction would be through minimizing redundant documentation.

For instance, the Detroit-based Optimal Home Care recently told HHCN that its ambitious growth plans had forced it to reevaluate its technology partners.

“We wanted to transition to something that reduces duplication and [tried to find] an EMR that allows us to focus on the patient as well as getting the documentation done at the point of care,” Erik Wilson, Optimal’s co-owner and vice president, told HHCN.

Despite growing demand and pressing growth goals, Optimal has had to step back and search for new partners before moving forward.

“This is key for us because we want to keep a good work-life balance, and sometimes in home health care, that can be hard,” Wilson said.

Pain points with EHR vendors and the explosion in popularity for home-based care has raised expectations.

That will continue in the near-term future, Navin Gupta, the SVP of MatrixCare’s home health and hospice division, said.

“The new rules around information blocking, where EHRs must respond to requests to exchange clinical information with other providers and patients, further raise expectations,” he said. “With all these constraints, the conversation around the evolution of EHRs is not happening fast enough. No one seems to be asking the question, ‘What is the future of the EHR? What does it do now, and what should we expect it to do in the future?’”

On a scale of 1-10, providers gave their EHR vendors a 6.2 rating based on their current level of satisfaction.

Still, the desire for automated workflows and more efficiency continued to resurface in respondent answers.