• by esalazar@marketresearch.com
  • July 3 2014
  • EHR
  • EMR

Primary and Ambulatory Care Key to Long-Term Health of EMR Markets

Primary and Ambulatory Care Key to Long-Term Health of EMR Markets

Recent profiles of Epic Systems and InterSystems are excellent case studies for the success of the electronic medical records (EMR) market. Fueled by government incentives in the United States and abroad, looming regulatory penalties and high hospital system adoption, the global EMR market has grown in excess of 10% over the past three years. Short-term market growth is well assured on continued penetration and maturation in the hospital EMR market segment, but long-term market success for the technology will largely be found outside the hospital.

Much of the promise of EMRs rest with the development of health information exchanges (HIEs) or forums for the sharing of electronic patient records and health data between hospitals, practitioners, and other care providers. Extraordinary market growth so far for EMRs has been driven primarily by in-house implementation of electronic records, though interoperability or the accessibility of all EMR data remains largely conceptual for the majority of EMR users. Over 90% of U.S. hospitals reported Stage 2 meaningful use of EMR systems by the end of 2013, or the capability to share (largely limited) amounts of patient data through community and state HIE systems. However, roughly only 1% of ambulatory care clinics in the United States are similarly HIE-capable. Primary care practices likely feature the same or a lower level of EMR system maturity.

EMR system adoption outside the hospital is likely to lag behind the development, or likely regulatory imposition, of interoperability standards. Companies like Epic Systems find diverse sources of growth through prominent clients such as the University of California, Kaiser Permanente, and CVS Caremark.  Epic has developed alongside its partner and vendor InterSystems, who offers a diverse suite of healthcare IT solutions beyond EMRs including HIE architectures. InterSystems helped Rhode Island implement its statewide HIE, currentcare, which now includes 90% of prescription data from pharmacies, 85% of state laboratory data, all 12 hospitals in the state, and approximately 400 other partners including physician offices, long-term care facilities, and nurse agencies. EMR companies such as Epic, AllScripts, Aprima and Athenahealth (as well as interoperability enabler InterSystems) are key players to watch in the global EMR physician market expected to grow in excess of 20% annually through 2018.

For more information on the latest developments in the global EMR market, please consult Kalorama Information’s latest edition title EMR 2014.