The U.S. ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) market has expanded significantly over the past five years due to incentives provided by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The rapid advancement of technology and healthcare reform triggered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), particularly the move to value-based reimbursement, has led to the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). They require a high degree of clinical integration across care settings. While the hospital EHR market is mature, there is still a potential upside on the ambulatory market. Some ambulatory EHRs currently fail to demonstrate care outcomes improvements as they struggle to function seamlessly across the continuum of care.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, US Ambulatory Electronic Health Record Market: 2015 2020, finds the market will expand by 30 percent during the next five years, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3 percent until 2020.
Care providers seeking to leverage their existing EHRs experience countless challenges stemming from ICD-10 non-readiness, poor interoperability standards, frequent EHR audits, low productivity and high implementation costs.
This may lead to the introduction of new EHR functionalities including:
• Automating data entry;
• Enabling risk stratification;
• Coordinating care;
• Engaging patients;
• Benchmarking clinical performances throughout the care ecosystem.
Overall, EHRs are expected to emerge as a U.S. population health management enabler by 2020.
“Revenue growth will peak during 2019 to 2020 as more ambulatory practices are expected to embrace more expensive, integrated EHRs,” saidFrost & Sullivan Transformational Health Senior Research Analyst Koustav Chatterjee. “With healthcare providers’ desire to benchmark outcomes at a network, practice and patient level, their need for integrated EHRs will only grow.”
The high degree of fragmentation among customers and ambulatory EHR vendors is currently a challenge for the U.S. market, but payer consolidation will go a long way in mitigating this issue. Large-size ambulatory practices will continue to acquire smaller practices or collaborate with accountable care organizations to maintain operating margins and enhance market share, in turn increasing their ability to invest in EHRs.
Frequent EHR audits, inadequate funding and infrastructure as well as the presence of unqualified incumbents will remain an issue. EHR data interoperability will be a difficult milestone to achieve, as the existing IT infrastructure will be hard pressed to comply with the evolving regulations imposing futuristic technical guidelines.
“Vendors are focusing on software as a service (SaaS) based EHRs due to increasing cost pressures as well as the low productivity and return on investment efficiency of on-premise solutions,” noted Chatterjee. “Not only are cloud EHRs less expensive than on-premise solutions, they are also easily implemented, interoperable, auto-scalable, remotely accessible and compatible with disparate healthcare systems.”
Overall, winners in the U.S. ambulatory EHR market will include disruptive, provider-oriented, specialty-specific, cost-competitive technology companies capable of juggling this industry’s unique combination of risks and rewards. Additionally, companies providing products and services supporting clinical decisions and better streamline delivery of care will have an edge. As for healthcare providers, companies optimally leveraging patient data and working seamlessly with other care providers to manage population health will be the clear leaders.
US Ambulatory Electronic Health Record Market: 2015 2020 is part of the Connected Health Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Analysis of the US Hospital Real-time Location Systems Market, Care Coordination Software - US Overview and Outlook, 2014 2020 and Big Data Opportunities in the US Medical Imaging Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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US Ambulatory Electronic Health Record Market: 2015 2020 / NFA7-48