Transitioning to NDoc®: A Case Study in Success for Thornberry’s Home Health EMR

Cerner’s announcement to end support for their Home Health EMR (electronic medical records) at the end of 2020 has left many agencies searching for a replacement. But needing something soon doesn’t mean you have to settle. The investment in a new EMR is huge, so make sure you and your agency are choosing not just a system, but a true quality solution. It’s not too late to choose the EMR solution that has been ranked #1 for seven years running: NDoc® from Thornberry Ltd.

There are many factors to consider and a lot of systems and vendors out there, so it’s important to know what to look for in a new EMR. Interoperability is at the top of the list, but there are a lot of features and capabilities that are crucial in a quality EMR system and vendor. 

What Do Other Providers Have To Say?

You shouldn’t rely solely on the word of any vendor in your search for a quality EMR solution. Finding out what others have to say about a product before buying it is always a good idea, so you should look to other home health agency (HHA) providers for what works, and what doesn’t. Your state HH association may be able to direct you to colleagues who are willing to discuss their EMR software systems with you. Find out why they are using their system and what they like—and don’t like—about it. Ask:

  • What do your clinical and office users think about your EMR? 
  • Is your EMR customized to your agency’s individual requirements?
  • Is your EMR vendor responsive to your questions and needs?
  • Has your EMR improved agency efficiency? Does it allow the data to be easily accessed in reports for episodic, operational and business analysis?
  • Does your vendor offer ongoing, quality system support and training…really?
  • What needs are not being met by your EMR?
  • How and why did you select your EMR vendor? Did you consider any other vendors before you made your final decision?

Allied Services Home Health in Clarks Summit, PA switched from Cerner to NDoc about five years ago, and they looked at several systems before selecting NDoc as their EMR solution. (Allied Services Hospice made the switch, as well.) Roberta Burge, Systems Analyst for Allied, says their decision was based mostly on NDoc’s ease of use, interoperability, KLAS rating, and—of course—customer support.  

“The support is fantastic,” Burge says, “and Thornberry is always ahead of the game with regulatory issues. We never have to worry that we won’t be covered when CMS changes or adds something.”  

Allied clinicians like NDoc because it’s easy to use, and they like NDoc’s logical workflow. Managers and supervisors like NDoc because of the easy and reliable access to patient data. “NDoc reports are good and easy to run,” says Burge, “and there are no more workarounds or manual tracking of tasks. NDoc is reliable, and we don’t get a lot of error messages.” 

Efficient and reliable EMR performance is now a given at Allied, and Burge also notes the ease of interoperability that comes with NDoc: “Thornberry has been a great partner with things like our KeyHIE setup.

Top-ranked by KLAS since 2013 

In addition to talking with other agency providers, you should head online to find out more about what others have to say. Online resources include industry publications, data review and listing sites, buying guides, and the healthcare IT research site KLAS Research.

KLAS publishes dozens of provider-driven, provider-centric research reports each year. The site is free to providers in exchange for their willingness to share their vendor experiences with KLAS researchers. There is also an annual “Best in KLAS” or “Category Leader” designation of one vendor within each category based on the research data. According to KLAS, “it is the healthcare providers, not KLAS, who give [these awards]. KLAS simply serves as amplification of the providers’ experiences.” 

Thornberry and NDoc have been ranked #1 in Home Health and Hospice for the seventh year in a row by provider agencies and KLAS independent researchers. Thornberry first set the record in 2017 with a fourth consecutive “Best in KLAS” award for the homecare segment, and it continues to leave the competition behind. Thornberry’s home health and hospice EMR received a top-ranked score of 90.4 in the 2020 Best in KLAS: Software & Services report, surpassing the average for the segment by more than nine points. 

This year, NDoc won the KLAS Category Leader award for the new Home Health & Hospice (Small) market segment. While not an official competitor in the new “large” market because NDoc data is limited for that segment, Thornberry scored the highest in either category, keeping them ahead of the competition for the seventh year in a row.

What do people like best about NDoc? 

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when selecting your EMR solution is the vendor’s reputation for customer service. No system has every bell and whistle, and some bells and whistles you won’t even use once the system is installed. But the investment in a new EMR is huge, and you want to be sure the vendor you choose has a service and support philosophy that matches your own. 

“We were very happy to be moving to NDoc,” says Burge. “The transition went well, the training was very good, and the support was excellent. We like that Thornberry ‘gets’ homecare. We don’t have to worry that they don’t understand the business, and they always stay on top of regulatory issues.

“There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel when you switch to NDoc.”