Electronic Health Records

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Ambulatory EHR Products to Focus on User-Centered Solutions

Frost & Sullivan reports that the ambulatory EHR market is expected to grow by 30 percent over the next five years.

By Sara Heath

- The ambulatory EHR market is expect to grow by 30 percent throughout the next five years, with innovative and provider-oriented systems leading the charge.

ambulatory EHR market growth

According to Frost & Sullivan’s US Ambulatory Electronic Health Record Market: 2015-2020 report, the EHR market is expected to grow as providers seek options with better usability and solutions to their current EHR problems.

Currently, providers are facing issues with ICD-10, inadequate interoperability, frequent system audits, low productivity, and high costs for implementation. Going forward, the EHRs that will lead the market are the ones that will be able to provide solutions to those problems.

Specifically, EHRs with the following capabilities will most likely be the most successful in the growing market:

  • Automating data entry
  • Enabling risk stratification
  • Coordinating care
  • Engaging patients 
  • Benchmarking clinical performances throughout the care ecosystem

Integrated ambulatory EHRs are also expect to grow, as providers continue to seek systems that will track outcomes data.

“Revenue growth will peak during 2019 to 2020 as more ambulatory practices are expected to embrace more expensive, integrated EHRs,” reports Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health Senior Research Analyst Koustav Chatterjee. “With healthcare providers’ desire to benchmark outcomes at a network, practice and patient level, their need for integrated EHRs will only grow.”

Analysts also think that healthcare organization mergers will help alleviate some of the disparities between patients, providers, and their EHRs. As practices continue to acquire smaller practices or collaborate with smaller accountable care organizations, these organizations will be better equipped to invest in an EHR.

Chatterjee also notes the need for less expensive, more productive systems. As EHR vendors move toward more cloud-based solutions, providers will see a shift in the market toward more interoperable and usable systems with better return on investment.

“Vendors are focusing on software as a service (SaaS) based EHRs due to increasing cost pressures as well as the low productivity and return on investment efficiency of on-premise solutions,” noted Chatterjee. “Not only are cloud EHRs less expensive than on-premise solutions, they are also easily implemented, interoperable, auto-scalable, remotely accessible and compatible with disparate healthcare systems.”

Looking forward, the EHRs that will see the most success are those that will resolve provider issues and be more cost-effective for the practice. In turn, that will allow providers to better leverage the data collected in their EHRs for better care outcomes and population health management.

“Overall, winners in the U.S. ambulatory EHR market will include disruptive, provider-oriented, specialty-specific, cost-competitive technology companies capable of juggling this industry’s unique combination of risks and rewards,” Frost & Sullivan says. “Additionally, companies providing products and services supporting clinical decisions and better streamline delivery of care will have an edge.”

Up until now, ambulatory EHR market growth has largely been driven by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services EHR Incentive Program. Due to the meaningful use programs, the market reached $25 billion in 2014, according to a report from Kalorama Information.

That report reflects a lot of what the Frost & Sullivan Report revealed. Due to the financial incentives offered in the EHR meaningful use programs, the EHR market has grown tremendously. That growth is expected to continue through 2019, Kalorama showed.

“There’s still a healthy and competitive market for EMR,” Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a public statement. “Expect growth this year and next at seven to eight percent and stable growth until 2019. Eventually, there will be market saturation but this is a bit of a way off, especially in emerging markets.”

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