Why Canvas Is the Easiest EMR to Learn, Implement, and Use

Bottom Line Up Front: Canvas’s VP of Product Ops, Kristen O’Neill, has deep and broad experience with a number of EMRs. She says Canvas is by far the easiest for caregivers to learn and use and for modern healthcare provider organizations to configure and implement.

Publication Date
1/13/2022
Kristen O'Neill

Kristen O'Neill

Electronic medical records are not known for being easy to learn or use. As the shift to value-based care has increased the number of tasks caregivers must complete inside an EMR, the lack of intuitive software has compounded users’ frustration.

I empathize with those frustrations. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with EMRs in numerous ways, including designing clinical workflows, helping to design and build a proprietary system, and extending a platform to fit a provider’s care model. Those experiences led me to join Canvas—in large part because of how incredibly easy the EMR is to use. 

My first impression of Canvas (and why it was so exciting)

The first time I used Canvas, I was immediately impressed by how different it was—in a good way. My conditioned reaction was to ask, “Where do I click?” But instead of relying on antiquated reference points from legacy platforms, Canvas adapts to your actions rather than forcing you down a set path. You can never get lost because all the information you need is right there.

Within 30 minutes of interacting with Canvas, the platform made sense, and I had a working understanding. To put that in perspective, my onboarding for other EMRs included nearly 30 hours of video tutorials or traveling for a weeklong training program.

Why Canvas is easier for caregivers

Legacy EMRs are slow and cumbersome to use, in part, because they’re old and have merely been patched up to comply with today’s healthcare regulations and standards. Founded in 2015, Canvas was built with modern software design—providing a much-needed fresh look at the EMR user experience.  

At the heart of this experience is our revolutionary Narrative Charting. From a single screen, caregivers can access all pertinent information (including historical data, the timeline, attachments, and results) without extraneous digging. Instead of clicking boxes and navigating multiple windows, the entry method for Canvas is simple, using natural commands like “family history,” “diagnose,” “instruct,” and “prescribe.” Once a caregiver starts typing in the chart, predictive technology provides suggestions and discreet pop-ups to help move things along.

This unprecedented flexibility allows caregivers to document what’s relevant in the moment, rather than wasting time and attention navigating through the EMR. 

With Protocols—another convenient and innovative Canvas feature—healthcare providers can implement custom clinical decision support tools and workflow interventions within the point of care. These notes or alerts are specific to your care model and provide relevant information without searching. Protocols can also be set up to automatically trigger an action based on information added to the chart. 

A cinch for other teams, too

Caregivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from Canvas’s simplicity. As the only EMR and payments development platform for healthcare, Canvas helps health tech companies build smarter, so they can get to market faster. With a suite of bidirectional FHIR APIs and modern tooling such as a Workflow Kit and Developer Dashboard, Canvas is the easiest EMR to build on, extend, and programmatically control the workflow. 

For healthcare organizations, Canvas is also incredibly easy to install, launch, and scale. In my experience, it typically takes 6 to 12 months to successfully implement a new EMR. With Canvas, organizations can drastically reduce this timeline and look forward to other benefits, including: 

  • Quicker adoption with less training
  • Lower cost of implementation
  • Higher productivity 
  • Less downtime
  • Happier caregivers with less burnout

Get started with the world’s easiest EMR today

Healthcare is inherently complicated—and that’s not changing any time soon. But we don’t have to settle for outdated tools that add an extra layer of complexity.

Canvas makes it easier for caregivers to capture and document relevant patient information, resulting in 3 times faster charting and 80% fewer clicks. Plus, the platform makes it easy for healthcare provider organizations to customize the EMR for their users. 

It’s even simple to get started with Canvas. You can create an account for free or talk to the Canvas team to learn more about the platform. 


About Kristen O’Neill, VP, Product Operations


Kristen works collaboratively across teams to incorporate user feedback into Canvas's product strategy and roadmap. Prior to Canvas, Kristen spent seven years at Privia Health, helping to recruit, onboard, and train over 2,600 providers across six markets. Kristen holds an MBA from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management and a BS in healthcare management and policy from Georgetown University.