Companies Flock to the Electronic Health Records Market

Any idea how many electronic health record vendors are out there?
Even experts are surprised at the answer. The total, as IT Everything columnist Joseph Conn puts it, is “a horde, a herd, a whole Wild West stampede” of EHR systems.
The numbers that surprised Conn came from Jodi Daniel, director of the Office of Policy and Research for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The tally is 613 complete EHR systems and 399 modular systems, all tested and certified under the EHR incentive payment program for the ambulatory-care market.
If you include inpatient settings, the number grows by 87 complete and 378 modular systems.
The grand total, as Conn notes in his column, includes 816 EHR vendors and 1,477 certified EHR products.
“I had no idea,” he says.
Nor did Chase Titensor, a researcher for the market-data firm KLAS Enterprises. Conn says Titensor told him the biggest surprise he gleaned while researching a report released July 18 on the ambulatory EHR market was the size and increasing diversity of the market.
The report title itself is telling: “Ambulatory EMR Perception 2012: Market Splitting Under Adoption Pressure.”
Last year, healthcare providers considered smaller vendors—those ranking below the 11 “most-considered solutions”—49 percent of the time, ModernHealthcare reports in a summary of the 13-page report. This year, the percentage rose to 64 percent.
Perhaps more significantly, lesser-known vendors are closing nearly one-third of sales, ModernHealthcare reports.
Healthcare practices also are replacing their electronic medical record vendors, often with lesser-known vendors, according to a KLAS news release about the report.
“Providers in small practices tended to have more vendor options available to them, while larger practices are challenged to find vendors capable of handling their complexity,” KLAS says.