- The global EHR market is expected to hit $31.5 billion this year and reach $39.7 billion by 2022, growing at a compound average rate of 6%, according to a new Kalorama Research report.
- Driving growth are conversions of remaining hospitals to automated patient data and clinical support systems, upgrades of existing customers, new offerings and vendor switches at large medical facilities.
- Leading the hospital and health system technology provider segment is Cerner, followed by Epic, Allscripts and athenahealth. They leverage their relationships with big players into ambulatory doctor-based practices.
Vendor switches are fueling part of the increase in EHR sales. In a Reaction Data survey published earlier this year, 11% of acute care facilities and 16% of ambulatory facilities said they were cutting ties with their current EHR vendor in hopes of a better experience elsewhere.
To increase user satisfaction and loyalty, vendors should canvas their happy customers and find out what's working for them, the survey said.
For example, a growing number of healthcare organizations are seeking add-ons to optimize EHR use, such as advanced analytics, decision-support capabilities and natural language processing. Vendors are also looking at novel ways to enhance EHRs. Last year, Epic CEO Judy Faulkner made news with her statement that EHRs need to offer a more expansive record of a person's health, including such things as how much they sleep and social determinants of health.
The report ranks Epic No. 1 among small hospitals. Other major vendors in the small hospitals segment include Cerner, athenahealth, Allscripts and Meditech.
According to a recent KLAS Research report, smaller hospitals accounted for 80% of acute care hospital EHR contracts last year, making it the fastest-growing segment of the EHR market. However, tight resources led more than half to choose more modestly priced or less resource-intensive EHR platforms such as Meditech and athenahealth and community deployment models offered by Epic and Cerner.
Recent rollouts in the small hospital segment include Epic's launch of Sonnet and Utility, small and mid-size versions of its All Terrain enterprise EHR, and Meditech's cloud-based EHR for critical access hospitals.
Cerner also leads in sales to organizations seeking practice management systems and EHR/PMS combinations, dominating the field along with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions and Epic, according to the report.