Customer Says eClinicalWorks Holding Patient Data 'Hostage'

Tom Sullivan | Healthcare IT News | July 10, 2017

But the EHR vendor says that clients own their data and can get it transferred back.

As eClinicalWorks faces a possible class action lawsuit and the potential for clients to switch to rival EHR vendors, some customers are coming forward with complaints about their treatment. The company countered that it is still signing up new healthcare organizations and at least one user has noticed the vendor changing its ways. At May’s end, the U.S. Department of Justice – in a settlement that included a $155 million fine – mandated that the EHR vendor either upgrade existing customers' software for free or transfer their data to a rival’s electronic health record platform.

The questions arising now are how the vendor will move forward, what changes existing and prospective customers might expect and whether early indications that it is reinvigorating focus on customers will continue into the future.

“We’ve been held hostage for a year and a half. I battled them,” said Laura Williams, practice administrator at North Spokane Women's Health in Washington. “It’s a nightmare with them.” Williams’ problems began nearly two years ago when North Spokane Women’s Health started the switch to GE Healthcare’s Centricity. When the clinic requested a copy of its patient data files, they were told that eClinicalWorks would charge $25,000 for the files, said Williams, noting that the offer was made without any guarantee that the data would be in a usable format...