The EMR market is expected to grow at 7 to 8 percent each year over the next five years according to recent report by Kalorama Information. The report, EMR 2015: The Market for Electronic Medical Records reveals that while the growth rate is lower than previous years, there are enough opportunities for vendors in consulting and training, system upgrades and poaching contracts from other vendors. Fear of penalties will also convince a few new customers to seek out services.
EMR Market Drivers
One reason for the continued growth is the fear of penalties for physicians who still use paper records. Those physicians who do not adopt EMRs by 2015 will face a reduction of 1% in their Medicare fee schedule, increasing to a 2% reduction in 2016 and a 3% reduction in 2017 and beyond. Thanks to the incentive, use has increased among physicians, the group that vendors and the government have been targeting. Initially the market was boosted from incentives. Penalties will continue to fuel growth, albeit lower growth than when the incentives were enacted as many physicians have purchased systems.
EMR Rip and Replace Trend Continues
The trend of “EMR Rip and Replace” will continue to increase in the market as new vendor replacement contracts will involve new training, implementation and consulting fees. Kalorama finds approximately a third of hospitals with EMRs are dissatisfied with their purchase and vendor interviews reported that several have looked into replacing their current vendor. The switch market won’t consist of a third of the market however; because the cost of changing systems is so high, many hospitals have resigned themselves to their current EHR system.
The main reasons for dissatisfaction with the system they have include:
– lack of key features
– a cumbersome and complex interface
– poor EHR usability
– bad hardware.
There has been a growing dissatisfaction among customers with their present EMR vendors and many customers – physicians and hospitals alike, are considering changing vendors.
According to the Black Book Ratings survey, 1 in 6 medical practices are planning to change vendors. This has been mainly due to glitches in the system operation, unfulfilled promises, and unmet expectations in system implementations, support and features. User satisfaction has and an increasing number of clients are very dissatisfied with their vendors. The most cited reason for considering a switch was that the software did not meet the practice’s needs.
“There might be a thought now that everyone has their EMR now so the market won’t grow, but I’d argue against that,” said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information in a statement. “There are upgrades, vendor switches, and still untapped physician markets for web-based products. That being said, it’s like any other software market now that the direct incentives are over and as such, vendors need to sell on value.”