From a non-listed, lesser known competitor's perspective and someone in marketing: I admire these companies in this order: Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, MEDITECH, but if I were looking to buy, I'd go with AthenaHealth. (I also don't work for AthenaHealth.) But, I've been doing a ton of market research lately, and I have the most favorable impression of Athena because it's been the easiest to learn about - they educate and seem approachable, like they're there to work with and for you. Next Epic, plus they simply dominate. Their products are also much easier to learn about now than they were years ago when it seemed Epic had no marketing and played everything close to the vest. Cerner's products are a bit harder to learn about, but their approach is clean and stable. However, when trying to read about their products, there's a short bit on their inpatient EHR and then they start promoting other components, so overall, the solution comes off as very 'piece-y" to me. Allscripts is a little easier to navigate than Cerner, but I don't have as favorable an impression and despite the pretty marketing, when we get down to it, there's more fluff and less depth; I wouldn't trust the product and results as much. MEDITECH is much harder to learn about. Definitely no glitz, but it still doesn't come off as approachable or easy to use. Hard to find detail on their inpatient EHR and what I'd think are inpatient EHR pages seem to promote their ambulatory solutions.
I voted Epic - here's why:
Money people don't typically have entrepreneurial ideas of their own, so they're constantly trying to find the next great idea and invest in it, in exchange for a share of future profits. The problem with this is:
1) The guy/gal with the great idea doesn't profit very much from the fruit of his/her ingenuity;
2) The money guys almost always want to protect their investment by grabbing control of the rudder;
3) There are societal repercussions to (1) and (2): it's not so attractive these days to be an engineering/science type who innovates, as this may be perceived as a job for suckers; the real money now is in big business. Due to the decreased compensation for engineering, North America has become rife with overcompensated Suits who know a lot about money and somewhat less about other things. We no longer reward the capability of building things - so unsurprisingly, that capability has been diminishing in supply here (smart and ambitious kids are going into money). As a society we are losing the capacity for building excellent things. That should worry us.
Epic has steadfastly said No to this phenomenon by remaining self-funded and privately held. I deeply admire this.
I give MEDITECH credit for making the investment in new development using web tools. They have recently go live with their WebAcute and WebED products to compliment their WebAmbulatory product. This represented a huge investment when they could have focused on selling what they had and making larger profits. It was the kind of long-term thinking that should be admired.
Fastest growing inpatient EHR isn't listed.... Athenahealth