- EHR purchasing spiked worldwide with Epic Systems and InterSystems snagging more clients than their competitors in 2016, according to the most recent KLAS global EHR market share report.
Research shows the factors fueling most global EHR purchasing decisions last year boiled down to cost, scope of functionalities, and usability.
The report also confirmed that Epic’s hold over the market extends beyond US borders: the private company is the second most popular EHR vendor worldwide.
However, the less expensive InterSystems made the biggest impact on foreign vendors.
“Broad functionality and a light IT footprint have led to InterSystems being deployed by more hospitals over the past four years than any other solution,” wrote researchers in the report. “InterSystems’ strong 2016 across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East — which included new contracts with several multihospital organizations in the UK and China —was driven by an all-in cost lower than Cerner’s and Epic’s.”
Headquartered in Massachusetts, InterSystems software has been steadily gaining traction in the European healthcare industry in countries such as the UK since 2012. InterSystem’s success reflects the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of the vendor’s technology.
Still, Epic’s usability and strong clinical functionalities drew in more contracts than any other vendor in several countries.
“With new contracts across Canada, the Netherlands, and Finland (a first), Epic was the most frequently selected higher-cost solution, due to robust clinical functionality and strong usability,” wrote researchers.
“Hospitals in the UK, Australia, and the Middle East chose Cerner in new and add-on contracts, though in an up year for hospital decisions overall, fewer new hospitals contracted with higher-cost Cerner than in the past,” noted researchers.
However, Cerner has earned the majority of the market share in certain foreign markets.
“Cerner is the most-used EMR by public hospitals in the Middle East,” wrote reserachers. “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Health expanded their Cerner footprint, even helping a separate hospital that had selected Epic to pivot and deploy Cerner, who was able to quickly implement their product in time for the hospital’s opening.”
According to the report, InterSystems and Epic lead the market by a wide margin with 56 multiregional contract wins for the former and 31 for the latter.
While InterSystems earned more contracts, Epic is used in larger health systems and served 3,000 more beds than its competitor last year.
Meanwhile, Cerner came in with the middle of the pack, winning 13 multiregional contracts in 2016.
Much of InterSystem’s success can be attributed to the appeal of its affordable product package in countries such as the UK where hospitals were working with a tighter budget last year.
“With the push to get hospitals digital by 2020, the UK is still fertile ground for EMR selections,” wrote researchers. “However, money is not readily available due to NHS England’s tightened purse strings. Lower-cost suppliers DXC Technology (CSC) and InterSystems are compelling offerings to both public and private organizations, and one trust is reducing costs by deploying Cerner in a shared environment with a neighboring trust.”
Epic can pin some of its success on its ability to break into new markets.
In 2016, Epic installed its first EHR system in Finland.
“In Finland, Epic was selected for an ambitious regional contract, strengthening Epic’s foothold in the Nordics (Epic’s first Danish hospitals went live in 2016),” wrote researchers.
However, Epic’s comparatively hefty price tag has scared some countries away.
“In the Netherlands, organizations selected lower-cost ChipSoft more often than Epic, and this energy has spilled into Dutch-speaking Belgium,” wrote researchers.
As EHR adoption becomes more popular worldwide, vendors will need to prioritize cost-effectiveness, robust functionalities, and simplicity to attract hospitals of all sizes in foreign markets.