If there's one thing to rely on in healthcare, it's that there's always some new research or a survey to drive the national conversation and point out the moving trends heading our way.

One of the most prolific research firms in the industry is Black Book Rankings, which publishes reports each year based on its research. One of the latest pieces of data from the sector is a new comprehensive "six-month user poll" the firm said it designed to determine the highest-ranked electronic health and medical record software systems for 2015.

According to the firm, through the fourth quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2015, primary care has proven to be one of the fastest-growing market segments of new EHR implementations. As such, 94 percent of all primary care practices with more than six practitioners have either executed, are under implementation or are in the process of selecting a system.

"Product and vendor loyalty among primary care practices (with more than) six physicians is on the upward trajectory," Doug Brown, Black Book's managing partner, said in a statement. "The vendor's abilities to meet the evolving demands of interoperability, networking, mobile devices, accountable care, patient accessibility, customization for generalist workflow, and reimbursement are the main factors that the replacement mentality and late adoption are turning course."

As one of Black Book's latest reports — part of a self-proclaimed "special research focus" on implemented EHR users the firm also reported the following:

  • 70 percent of primary care physicians that implemented their first EHR prior to 2012 are considerably more satisfied than those with systems implemented within the past 24 months.
  • 84 percent of primary care practices identifying as "in some stage of replacing" their current EHR are giving preference to vendors with fundamental population health tools and analytics.
  • Primary care user satisfaction has increased prominently in the last six months of all practices implementing an EHR longer than two years ago, according to client responses.
  • As such, "users credit recent satisfaction gains to the efforts of vendors to improve workflow issues, delivering on promises, meaningful use achievements, demonstrated data exchange, and fortified U.S.-based client support," Brown said.
  • 79 percent of primary care doctors who define themselves in the survey as meeting these criteria have not yet implemented an EHR.

"Solo and smaller practices (with fewer than) five practitioners, particularly in urban, East Coast locations, that are struggling with resources are this market segment's late adopters," Brown said.

In addition to these findings, Black Book also measured satisfaction with some of the electronic health record technology in use. Based on the aggregate experience of physicians and measuring customer satisfaction scores on 18 key performance indicators, Greenway Health ranked first across all surveyed primary care electronic health records systems. Greenway Health is up one slot, surpassing Practice Fusion, from the 2014 and 2013 primary care surveys.

According to the report, Black Book also reports that Greenway achieved the highest customer satisfaction scores in the respective primary care subsets of general practice and family practice. AmazingCharts ranked first in the primary care area of geriatrics and first in pediatrics. Greenway also scored best among all primary care physicians for system patient health data management and administrative processing, as well as order entry and management.