EMR Market Share and “sat-u-ra-tion”

The latest KLAS report looks at EMR market share across acute care hospitals. 

 

Thanks, Google, for this:

sat·u·ra·tion
 
saCH?'raSH?n/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    the state or process that occurs when no more of something can be absorbed, combined with, or added.

Have you ever experienced saturation? I have many times: summer air so humid I felt like I was walking through a hot shower; sponges dripping spilled milk (or other kid-friendly liquid) as I rushed to the kitchen sink; myself after a HIMSS-time dinner at a particularly appetizing Las Vegas buffet.

My fearless leader, Coray Tate, and I wondered about saturation as we studied the data for our recent clinical market share report. KLAS has been tracking vendor wins and losses at large (over 200 bed) acute care hospitals for more than 10 years. Since meaningful use came on the scene, we have seen an elevated number of new hospital EMR contracts each year. The majority of hospitals were already replacing their second or third EMRs with others deemed more suitable for the future. It seemed we were approaching the point where most of the over-200-bed hospitals had already made an EMR decision that would carry them for years beyond Stage 3. The market had to be close to saturation, right?

Surprise! The data shows that there are actually more of these hospitals still running legacy EMRs, homegrown EMRs, or no EMR at all than have purchased a currently marketed solution in the past four years. It is likely that many of them will be making a decision in the next few years. 

What is more, these hospitals look different and may signal a shift in market share dynamics. They are smaller and more cost conscious than the large hospital IDNs that have given Epic a lion’s share of wins year after year. In fact, we have already seen the ratio of Epic-to-Cerner wins shrink from 5-to-1 in 2010 to 2-to-1 in 2012. 

Other vendors, including Allscripts, MEDITECH, McKesson and Siemens, have not given up the fight. They are full-speed ahead in development of integrated ancillary and ambulatory solutions, hoping to remove the key competitive advantage that Epic and Cerner have held. Can they do it? Let us know what you think. 

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