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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

May 22 2011   8:57PM GMT

Why it would make sense to have just a few EHR vendors



Posted by: RedaChouffani
CRM, EHR

During many EHR implementations, project managers and IT executives recognize that there are some gaps that many of the products out there are not able to fill. While 80% of the needs are fulfilled you are left with 20%. This leaves the organizations with the choice of either getting the 20% through some customization done by the vendors or accepts the unresolved business challenge. This is applies to almost all the healthcare products available there: EHR, PHR, HIS or PMS products.

But if you were to look at other markets (financial, manufacturing, etc.) and how many of them have successfully implemented an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Many of these products tend to resolve 70% of the business needs and allow third party vendors and the client’s IT departments to finish the last mile through customization capabilities and open framework. This software model creates tremendous value for the buyers. So one must wonder if we will ever have few EHR products in the market place that will allow IT departments and solution providers to easily customize and create plug-ins for these complex systems. There are several examples we can name here just a few that have been successful and had their products empowered through third party development: PeopleSoft, SAP, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, Google Health, Skyline, Exact, Saleforce.com, Facebook just to name a few.

But in order for any EHR vendors to receive the success of these products they will need to adopt some of new patterns in their products offerings:

· Provide the Development community with SDK and APIs to easily create enhancements to the solutions for their clients.

· Be large enough to fund bigger and better and bigger product functionality

· Provide plenty of documentation (tutorials, Podcasts, webinars, YouTube, etc.) on features and functionality

· Provide online forums where development and end users can discuss challenges

· Create an open framework in their solution to make it easier on clients to customize the product to resolve their specific business need

· Encourage partnerships with solution providers in order to encourage innovation

· Build the product with strong interoperability capabilities to ensure integration with multiple systems

In the way the market is at this point, it would not seem to be beneficial to only have few EHR vendors out there. Many of the systems have a closed architecture and for the few that widely used, they require specialized certifications. The successful EHR vendors of tomorrow will need to ensure they learn from the successful companies of today.

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