EMR market surpasses $23 billion

Government incentives a key driver
By Bernie Monegain
10:30 AM
Doctor at computer

The global market for electronic medical records has shot up to $23.2 billion in 2013, according to a new report from research firm Kalorama: EMR 2014: The Market for Electronic Medical Records.

Government incentives and the increasing use of electronic medical records for quality of care and cost-saving reasons continue to drive the market, researchers found. They also noted that upgrading is also a factor in the booming market, in addition to new purchases.

[See also: Kalorama: EMR market at $15.7B for 2010, MU to further growth.]

“We think adoption and upgrading activities will still be stimulating growth in 2014-2018," said Mary Ann Crandall, Kalorama analyst and the author of the report, in a press statement. "As new systems are sold, companies will still earn revenues from existing clients in servicing and consulting services."

The forecast assumes the trend of adoption will continue to move forward, although slowing somewhat. Hospital EMR adoption will supersede doctors' EMR adoption; it is anticipated that existing EMR owners will upgrade and train on systems, and that the threat of penalties will force doctors and hospitals to make upgrade decisions.

[See also: Growth in EMR sales to docs expected online.]

This is the seventh year Kalorama has studied the market for EMR. In its total, Kalorama includes revenues for EMR/EHR systems, CPOE systems and directly related services such as installation, training, servicing and consulting which are key profit areas for companies. It does not include PACS or hardware. 

The report notes that now that the EMR market is mature, customers have more vendor choices. Some hospitals and physician customers will boost the market through vendor switches as they seek the right EMR fit for their organization, according to Kalorama.

"We estimate a quarter to a third of customers would like to switch EMRs and may look into replacing their current vendor," added Crandall. "The main reasons for dissatisfaction with the system they have includes lack of key features, a cumbersome and complex interface, poor EHR usability and bad hardware."