20 Ways Medical Practice Management and EMR/EHR Systems Fail at Reporting, Data Analytics, and Business Intelligence

In the modern healthcare landscape, data-driven decision-making is crucial for medical practices aiming to enhance patient care and optimize financial health. However, many Medical Practice Management (MPM) and Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMR/EHR) systems fall short in their reporting, data analytics, and business intelligence capabilities.

Reporting should act as an MRI for your practice, revealing how things really operate and illuminating the biggest opportunities and most effective path forward to achieve more value, growth, and revenue.

Here are twenty ways these systems often fail to deliver on the value promise of data analytics and insights:

1. Inability to Tie Operational Reports to Financial Objectives

Many systems fail to link operational reports with accounting and financial objectives. This disconnect hinders the ability of practices to align their operational performance with their financial goals, leading to suboptimal decision-making.

2. People Who Develop the Reports Lack Practical Experience

The product managers and developers creating the reports usually do not have practical experience in running a medical practice. Instead, they are software developers who may not fully understand the nuances and specific needs of healthcare operations.

3. Standard ‘Out of the Box’ Reporting Not Based on Real Business Use Cases

Many systems provide generic, out-of-the-box reports that do not align with the real business use cases of medical practices. These reports often fail to address the specific needs and challenges faced by healthcare providers.

4. Reports Not Strategically Outcome-Based

Reports generated by many systems are often just spreadsheets disguised as reports. They are not strategically focused on outcomes but instead provide raw data without actionable insights or context.

5. Reliance on Compartmentalized Ad-Hoc Spreadsheets

Many systems increase reliance on compartmentalized ad-hoc spreadsheets and data sprawl. This contrasts with enabling a unified and democratized data set using centralized cloud reports, ensuring everyone is using and speaking the same language about the data.

6. EMR/EHR Designed Primarily for Medical Records

EMR/EHR systems are primarily designed to manage medical records. Reporting features are often a lazy ‘add-on’ afterthought meant to attract more customers, rather than a fully integrated and functional aspect of the system.

7. Practice Management Systems Focused on Billing Transactions

Practice management systems are primarily designed to facilitate billing transactions with insurance carriers and clearinghouses. Their ability to provide any actionable reports is often a best effort, secondary to their main function.

8. In-System Reports Dependent on Data Quality

The accuracy and usefulness of in-system reports are directly tied to the quality of the data entered into the system. Incomplete or inaccurate data entry can lead to misleading reports and poor decision-making.

9. Limited Customization Options

Healthcare practices often have unique reporting needs, but many systems offer limited customization options. This rigidity forces practices to adapt their processes to fit the system rather than tailoring the system to their specific requirements.

10. Poor User Interface and Experience

A user-friendly interface is crucial for efficient data analysis and reporting. Unfortunately, many systems have clunky, unintuitive interfaces that make it difficult for users to navigate and extract the information they need.

11. Insufficient Real-Time Data Capabilities

Real-time data access is essential for timely decision-making. However, many systems provide only periodic updates, leading to outdated information that can negatively impact clinical and operational decisions.

12. Lack of Advanced Analytics Tools

Basic reporting functions are often insufficient for in-depth analysis. Advanced analytics tools, such as predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities, are lacking in many EMR/EHR and MPM systems, limiting the ability to uncover insights and trends.

13. Inadequate Data Integration

Many EMR/EHR and MPM systems struggle to integrate data from various sources seamlessly. This fragmentation leads to incomplete or inconsistent datasets, which hampers accurate reporting and meaningful analytics.

14. Inadequate Data Visualization

Data visualization is a powerful tool for interpreting complex data. However, many systems offer limited visualization options, resulting in reports that are difficult to interpret and act upon.

15. Complexity of Data Extraction

Extracting data from EMR/EHR and MPM systems can be a cumbersome process. Complex extraction procedures often require technical expertise, making it challenging for healthcare providers to access and utilize their data effectively.

16. Limited Data Provided

Many systems provide only a limited amount of data, restricting the ability of practices to perform comprehensive analyses. This limitation can result in missed opportunities for improving patient care and operational efficiency.

17. In-System Reports for Worker Bees vs. Strategic Insights

In-system reporting is often designed for worker bees who want to extract spreadsheets rather than providing strategic and actionable insights. This approach does not drive business processes, decisions, and actions to achieve the clinical, operational, and financial objectives that business leaders need.

18. Scalability Challenges

As medical practices grow, their data and reporting needs evolve. Many systems are not scalable, leading to performance issues and an inability to handle larger volumes of data efficiently.

19. Lack of Comprehensive Training and Support

Proper training and ongoing support are vital for maximizing the use of EMR/EHR and MPM systems. Many vendors provide inadequate training resources and support, leaving users struggling to fully leverage the system’s capabilities.

20. Cost Constraints

Implementing robust reporting and analytics capabilities often comes with significant costs. Many practices find it challenging to justify the expense, resulting in underutilized systems and a lack of investment in necessary upgrades.

Extending Value with PracticePath

Working with PracticePath as a third-party solution can significantly extend the value of your existing investment in PM/EMR/EHR technology. PracticePath’s solutions incorporate critical elements of work orchestration, process automation, system integration, intelligent data, and actionable analytics.

By leveraging PracticePath, every outcome is uniquely positioned to maximize cash flow and financial health through operational and clinical excellence. As a result, your practice will be positioned as a transformative force, redefining modern medical practice operations for efficiency, superior patient care, financial vitality, and rapid growth.

PracticePath sets new standards through unparalleled reporting and analytics to intelligently measure, monitor, manage, and transform healthcare facilities and medical practices. Our reporting solutions are an “execution management and excellence creation system” that offers customized, intelligent, and actionable reports. These reports serve as the connective tissue of your enterprise, providing a unified understanding into every aspect of your operations.


For medical practices to thrive in an increasingly data-driven environment, robust reporting, data analytics, and business intelligence capabilities are essential. Addressing these common failures in MPM and EMR/EHR systems, and partnering with PracticePath, can lead to more informed decision-making, improved patient care, and enhanced operational efficiency. Practices should carefully evaluate their systems and work closely with vendors like PracticePath to ensure their needs are met and that they can fully capitalize on their data assets.