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The athenaOne Suite which includes athenaCollector a revenue cycle management solution and athenaClinials an EHR (electronic health records) recently ranked #1 in 2023 Best in KLAS for athenaClinials Ambulatory EMR for 11-75 physi...Read more about athenaOne

3.8 (823 reviews)

303 recommendations


RXNT’s cloud-based, ONC-certified medical software—Billing, Practice Management, EHR, and more—improves clinical outcomes & revenue cycle management. Simple, transparent pricing includes free setup and training, free data transfer...Read more about RXNT

4.3 (406 reviews)

276 recommendations


DrChrono’s iPad and iPhone compatible EHR and medical billing platform allows medical practices and healthcare providers to manage patient intake, patient care, clinical charting, billing and revenue cycle management. It includes ...Read more about DrChrono

4.0 (474 reviews)

260 recommendations

AdvancedMD EHR

AdvancedMD is a unified suite of software solutions designed for mental health, physical therapy and medical healthcare organizations and independent physician practices. Features include practice management, electronic health rec...Read more about AdvancedMD EHR

3.6 (443 reviews)

155 recommendations

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ChartLogic EHR

ChartLogic offers an ambulatory EHR suite that includes electronic medical record, practice management, revenue cycle management, e-prescribing and patient portal. The solution caters to primary care, surgical care and other compl...Read more about ChartLogic EHR

3.9 (62 reviews)

79 recommendations

Practice EHR

Practice EHR, a medical practice management software, was developed to accommodate the needs of small to mid-size businesses. The platform is customizable to internal medicine practices, chiropractors, physical therapists, family ...Read more about Practice EHR

4.3 (68 reviews)

58 recommendations

Elation Health

Elation Health is the most trusted technology platform for high-value primary care. Since 2010, the company has delivered clinical-first solutions — built on a collaborative EHR platform — that help practices start, grow, communic...Read more about Elation Health

4.4 (51 reviews)

44 recommendations


Established in 2008, WebPT is the nation’s most trusted outpatient rehab therapy software platform in the country, helping more than 150,000 rehab therapy professionals from all practice sizes and specialties run successful and ef...Read more about WebPT

4.3 (460 reviews)

42 recommendations


AestheticsPro is a cloud-based, HIPAA compliant medical spa management software solution that offers staff and calendar management along with client management, a point-of-sale and marketing tools within a suite. The staff manage...Read more about AestheticsPro

4.4 (403 reviews)

36 recommendations


IntelleChartPRO is a cloud-based ophthalmology Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution that caters to high-pathology ophthalmology clinics and retinal specialists and helps them to record and manage patient's course of treatment ...Read more about IntelleChartPRO

4.8 (25 reviews)

30 recommendations

NextGen Enterprise

NextGen Healthcare provides scalable, integrated solutions and professional services to help your practice administer excellent care and operate your business more efficiently. We serve medium to large enterprise-level ambulatory ...Read more about NextGen Enterprise

5.0 (2 reviews)

30 recommendations

Compulink Healthcare Solutions

Compulink Advantage is an all-in-one database EHR solution for specialty practices such as optometry, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, ENT, mental health, podiatry, and more. Available cloud-based or server, Advantage includes smart f...Read more about Compulink Healthcare Solutions

4.1 (283 reviews)

22 recommendations


ClinicSource is a cloud-based practice management solution focusing on speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy that helps in scheduling and documenting the therapy appointments of the patients. ClinicSource Th...Read more about ClinicSource

3.9 (65 reviews)

22 recommendations

NextGen Office

NextGen Office is an award-winning, cloud-based, clinical and billing solution designed for smaller, independent practices (≤ 10 providers). This all-in-one, full-service solution includes specialty-specific EHR content, an easy-t...Read more about NextGen Office

4.0 (1253 reviews)

21 recommendations


zHealth is a cloud-based practice management solution that assists chiropractic clinics and practitioners with health center search and patient scheduling. Its key features include calendar management, SOAP note creation, billing ...Read more about zHealth

4.6 (118 reviews)

20 recommendations


ModMed, also known as Modernizing Medicine®, is an award-winning software company that places doctors and patients at the center of care through an intelligent, specialty-specific cloud platform. Services include electronic health...Read more about ModMed

4.3 (165 reviews)

18 recommendations


Nexus is an ONC 2015 Edition certified cloud-based ambulatory EHR and PM platform. It is designed for small to midsize practices and a variety of specialties including orthopedics, neurology, podiatry, cardiology, general surgery,...Read more about Nexus

4.6 (9 reviews)

17 recommendations


ChiroTouch is the cloud standard in chiropractic software and the only completely integrated EHR software that can be accessed any way, anytime, and on any device. Easy in Every Way - ChiroTouch is easy to get started, access, le...Read more about ChiroTouch

4.0 (961 reviews)

16 recommendations

Valant EHR Suite

Valant’s Behavioral Health EHR and Practice Management Software includes all the tools you need to provide exceptional individual and group care while running a successful private practice. Unlike other non-specialized EMR softwa...Read more about Valant EHR Suite

4.1 (266 reviews)

13 recommendations


CharmHealth is a MU certified, cloud-based EHR, Practice Management and Medical Billing solution that helps healthcare organizations ranging from large multi-specialty groups to small independent medical offices function efficient...Read more about CharmHealth

4.3 (126 reviews)

12 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

If your view of Web-based electronic medical records was formed five years ago—or even one year ago—it’s time to look again. Web-based, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), applications have gained tremendous momentum thanks to Microsoft, Google and innovative technologists that have enhanced core SaaS technologies. Physician practices and their patients are a prime beneficiary of these advances. SaaS systems for electronic medical records and practice management now provide the security, interactivity and dependability that they may have lacked in the early days. However, because there are so many different options, designed for every different kind of facility, selecting a program can be tremendously confusing. This buyer’s guide is designed to assist the buyer in understanding the market and knowing where to start.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Web-Based EMR Software?

Deployment Strategies

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Benefits and Potential Issues

Market Trends to Understand

The Web-Based EMR Vendor Landscape

What Is Web-Based EMR Software?

Electronic medical records manage the clinical data within a healthcare organization. They store online patient records and charts, track demographics, print (or electronically send) prescriptions, facilitate laboratory and device integration and include templates for SOAP notes.

What distinguishes online medical records from on-premise systems (which are locally installed and hosted by the practice) is that all the information will be accessed remotely, and sometimes the interface is even accessed through an Internet browser. This has a number of advantages, which we’ll address below.

Deployment Strategies

There are two types of Web-based EMR systems, with a subtle difference: application service providers (ASPs) and browser-based systems. Browser-based systems, just how they sound, use an Internet browser to access the information. The benefit of this is that the information can be accessed from anywhere, and it always looks exactly the same as you’re used to. ASP describes a client/server system, where the practice installs a very light software “client” onto their computers, but all of the data is hosted by the vendor on a remote server. Most ASPs will also be “Web-enabled,” meaning that information can be accessed through a Web browser if necessary, but the browser access will tend to have certain disadvantages, like slower load times and less intuitive functionality.

Other than deployment type, the biggest decision you’ll face is whether to implement a standalone electronic medical records system or a single, integrated system that comes along with billing and scheduling modules. Standalone web EMR applications are generally better for buyers with unique needs that full-suite systems can’t address, buyers who outsource their billing, and those who have already invested in a billing and scheduling system they do not wish to replace. Many popular vendors sell their systems in modules, meaning that the buyer can decide whether they want just the Web-based EHR or the medical billing and scheduling systems as well.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

EMR vendors have customized systems for just about every medical specialty and clinic size: outpatient or inpatient, solo practice or hospital, primary care or specialist, the choices number in the hundreds. In general, these programs can be grouped according to certain criteria:

Size. Managing the medical records at a small practice with one or two physicians is much simpler than at a large facility with 100+ providers. Though both are looking to eliminate paperwork and improve efficiency, the ability to transfer information and store tens of thousands of patient records is an expense small practices don’t need to incur.

Medical specialty. Most EMR vendors customize their templates to every different kind of medical specialist—internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, cardiology and so on—as well as to specialists with other designations like chiropractors, psychologists, therapists, counselors and optometrists. These systems facilitate a doctor’s workflow much better than a generic system that just stores basic information.

Facility type. Buyers at inpatient facilities like hospitals and acute care centers need to manage additional details like patient beds, shifts and physician rounds, which ambulatory care facilities don’t need to consider. Although these types of facilities tend to lend themselves better to an enterprise system than to a Web-based model, there are a few SaaS solutions for inpatient facilities.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Web-based EMRs have a number of key benefits over locally installed systems:

  • Limited IT burden: With a Web-based EMR, data is kept at a remote centralized location and monitored by IT staff that handles all of the routine back-ups, upgrades and maintenance. The resulting security and maintenance support is typically far superior to anything a practice—particularly a small practice—could implement on its own, particularly if it doesn’t already have a server.

  • Ease-of-use: Since the user interface is essentially a Web page, it tends to be highly intuitive and easy to learn. This, in turn, reduces training time and expenses.

  • Remote access: Many physicians—particularly those who spend a lot of time on call—appreciate the ability to access their EMR from outside the office. This feature comes standard with any browser-based system and most ASPs, but not necessarily with an enterprise solution.

  • Lower up-front costs: Rather than paying a large installation fee, Web-based systems come on more of a subscription basis—by paying a monthly fee, the costs are relatively low, but ongoing, becoming an operational expense rather than a capital expenditure.

One of the biggest drawbacks to an online EMR system is that it is dependent entirely on Internet accessibility. If the connection goes down, the ability to access Web-based patient records goes down with it. This will be a huge problem if your Internet connection has any history of unreliability. (Note: ASPs may cache some data, allowing you to locally store information for a few days at a time.) They’re also traditionally harder to customize to the practice, although this is a trend that is beginning to change.

One concern that medical practices often express is regarding data security, since HIPAA compliance such an important consideration. But it should be a given that program marketing itself as an EMR should be HIPAA compliant. Different programs do have different levels of security, however (for example: some programs will have different levels of data accessibility for administrative staff than for doctors), so it’s still a good question to ask when reviewing a system.

The final issue to consider when buying any kind of program is user buy-in and training. Sometimes people become attached to the old way of doing things, and don’t like being told now that they have to do something different. The best way to overcome this is to have all users involved in the decision-making process. By feeling some ownership over selection of the EMR, adoption of the system will be a much smoother process.

Market Trends to Understand

These electronic medical record market trends should be considered as you select a product and vendor:

Patient portals. Support of smartphone and tablet devices is one of the most rapidly growing segments of technology adoption. EMR vendors have caught on to this demand, so if you use mobile devices in or outside of your practice, ensure that mobile functionality is a primary consideration. For more information, visit our buyer’s guide on tablet PC EMRs.

SaaS for larger practices. Once upon a time, a Web-based deployment was the exclusive domain of small practices who couldn’t afford the up-front costs associated with a locally installed system. That is no longer necessarily the case. More and more vendors are targeting larger practices, offering solutions that compete in functionality with the enterprise systems, offering the best of both worlds.

More customization. Traditionally browser-based systems have lacked the ability to customize the program to the practice. This is beginning to change, as web EMR technology is advancing and the vendor market becomes more competitive.

The Web-Based EMR Vendor Landscape

Based on your buyer type, the following chart should give you a general indication of some of the top contenders in the EMR vendor landscape.

This type of buyer...

Should evaluate these systems

Primary care MDs/DOs and related specialists

eClinicalWorks, Allscripts, Greenway, Aprima

Specialists with other designations (DC, OD, PT, PhD, LCSW etc.)

Valant, Netsmart, AdvancedMD, CareTracker

Small practices

eClinicalWorks, Greenway, Aprima

Mid-sized to large practices

NextGen, Sage Intergy, Allscripts

In-patient facilities

NextGen, CareTracker