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athenahealth Review

By Adam Uzialko, Writer | Updated Sep 26, 2019

Athenahealth offers a web-based electronic medical record (EMR) software application, athenaClinicals, that is suitable for small to midsized practices. This EMR is relatively easy to learn, and because it is web-based, doesn't require practices to invest heavily upfront in an expensive implementation process.



The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

athenaClinicals offers a user-friendly, well-organized EMR that won't demand a great deal of effort for users to learn.

Editor's note: Looking for information on electronic medical records (EMR)? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 



View all of our recommendations for electronic medical records systems on our best picks page.

Ease of Use

athenaClinicals has a modern user interface. Clearly marked tabs situated at the top of the screen ‒ "Calendar," "Patients," "Claims," "Financials," "Reports," "Quality" and "Support" ‒ allow for easy navigation between different functions of the software. Understanding the finer points of the software and tailoring it to suit your workflow is likely to take more time; however, the learning curve is not as steep with athenaClinicals as it is with other EMR software platforms we reviewed.

On the left side of the screen is the inbox, which displays things like urgent tasks, patients currently in the office, encounters, appointment requests, prescription orders, lab results, clinical documents, and phone messages and tasks that require follow-up.

The first screen a user typically sees is the dashboard, which provides an overview of customizable data points. This overview can be changed based on the user and their role within the practice. For example, the dashboard can display a snapshot of the day's appointments, including patient information like name, date of birth, insurance information and the reason for the visit. The homepage can also be used by providers to manage tasks, order prescriptions or labs and view recent lab results.


Athenahealth excels at making all the major functions of an EMR software available with just a few clicks. It's easy to navigate ‒ even for a new user ‒ and the uncluttered presentation of info allows users to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently.

In addition, athenaClinicals had some other features that impressed us. Here's what we really liked.  


athenahealth's scheduling tool allows staff to view the calendar in a daily, weekly or monthly format. Quick reference tabs on the left side of the screen let you see how many scheduled patients are currently in the office, how many encounters have occurred, outstanding appointment requests by unscheduled patients, and any lab or imaging orders that are available for review.

With the list of patients scheduled to be seen that day, providers can click on individual patient names to view additional information, including the time and type of their appointment, medical history and more. athenaClinicals also maintains a portal that allows patients to access the EHR remotely to obtain lab results, request and schedule appointments, request prescription refills and make payments online. athenaClinical's patient portal also offers patients a secure communication channel where they can discuss their care with providers. The patient portal can be used via desktop or any iOS mobile device.

Clinical Notes

Within a patient's chart, patient vitals captured on intake appear on the right side of the screen, along with a history of their last visit and any recent activity, such as prescriptions filled. Providers can view more detailed information about individual patients, including allergies, medications, problems and diagnoses.

In the charting tool, providers can use templates to document the patient encounter; they can enter free text or there's a voice-to-record feature that captures details about the encounter. Templates are customizable and can be tethered to different appointment types. For example, providers might use one custom template for a consultation and another for a follow-up. Moreover, providers can customize templates for patients with recurring visits for specific conditions.

By clicking on the "Medications" tab, a patient's active medications, as well as their medication history, are visible. A provider can order new prescriptions and athenaClinicals will alert providers if there are contraindications or potential drug interactions with the patient's current medications.

Under the "Labs" tab, providers can review recent lab results a patient might have received or order new lab tests directly within the system.

Customizable Widgets

athenahealth lets you customize the layout of patient charts using individual widgets. This customization allows your practice to adapt athenaClinicals to your own personal workflow, even if other users at your practice use the system differently.


We were not able to obtain a price quote from athenahealth. To determine what athenaClinicals would cost your practice per provider, per month, you'll need to request a quote from athenahealth's website.


athenahealth will handle implementation of its web-based EMR software for your practice. Many EMR vendors require additional payments to implement its software, but athenahealth does not.

There are no licensing fees or startup costs on top of your subscription. Because athenaClinicals is web-based, there are no servers to maintain on premises. Software updates are performed regularly and automatically by athenahealth, so users are operating on the most up-to-date system.

Customer Service

Our customer service experience with athenahealth was good; however, we were unable to obtain a price quote both for the EMR platform and the medical billing service, which includes access to both the EMR and practice management software at no extra cost. You will have to call the company and provide some info about your practice to obtain a price quote.

Athenahealth's customer service department is available by phone or email. The company provides a multitude of online resources, including FAQs, instructional videos and self-guided training. You're also assigned a dedicated account manager during implementation that you can contact with questions.  Unfortunately, live chat support isn't available, although athenahealth maintains a tech support ticket system.

Editor's note: Looking for an electronic medical records (EMR) system? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you about your needs.

Image Credit: Pornpak Khunatorn / Getty Images


The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

athenaClinicals offers a user-friendly, well-organized EMR that won't demand a great deal of effort for users to learn.

Adam Uzialko: Staff
Adam Uzialko, Writer
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Freelance editor at Responsible for managing freelance budget, editing freelance and contributor content, and drafting original articles. Also creates product and service reviews to assist readers in buying decisions for their businesses. VP and co-founder of CannaContent, a digital marketing company dedicated to the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries. Focused specifically on the content marketing arm of the company, creating blogs, press releases, and website copy for clients spanning the entire supply chain. Avid fan and indispensable ally of the feline species. Music lover, middling guitarist, and unprompted vocalist. Miniature painter who loves sci-fi and fantasy. Armchair political philosopher with a tendency to read old books written by men with unusually large beards. Ask me about all things writing!