Not many research reports on the electronic health records (EHR) space yield startling results: Most reports say EHRs speed up care, but a few say they don’t. Most say they help slash medical error rates, but a few say they don’t.
But the latest report from KLAS Enterprises will make CIOs and industry observers alike sit bolt upright in their seats. Some of its findings were expected — such as that EHR system sales doubled from 2008 to 2009, which coincided with the economic stimulus legislation — but others weren’t:
- New EHR system sales at large (200-plus beds) hospitals go to Epic Systems or Cerner 70% of the time.
- Meditech and Siemens saw just limited growth in 2009.
- Despite GE offering $100 million in deferred, interest-free loans to physicians, the company lost more hospitals than it gained in 2009.
- So did Eclipsys (recently acquired by Allscripts), McKesson‘s Horizon and QuadraMed.
What does it all mean? “Changes in the [clinical information services] marketplace as a result of [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] seem to have blindsided some vendors and left them struggling to stay afloat in the large hospital market,” stated report author Jason Hess in a KLAS press release.
That, and there’s room in the market for new, more nimble EHR vendors to jump into the game — especially outside of large hospital installations, in smaller hospitals, clinics and ambulatory physician practices, for example. And let’s not forget the specialties, from chiropractors to ophthalmologists, to all the specialists and therapists in-between.