Epic makes inroads, small EMRs compete

May 28, 2014 in Medical Technology

Smaller electronic medical record companies are giving bigger firms a run for their money as the market continues to grow, according to a recent report from Kalorama Information.

[See also: EMR market surpasses $23 billion]

The worldwide EMR industry reached a staggering $23.2 billion in 2013, according to Kalorama’s “EMR 2014: The Market for Electronic Medical Records.” That number is only going to go up in the coming years as hospitals and practices seek to evolve their systems’ capabilities.

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

[See also: MinuteClinic taps Epic for EMR]

Meanwhile, the market seeing a shift, somewhat, as established giants duke it out and smaller system vendors find their niches.

Unsurprisingly, Verona, Wis.-based Epic continues its dominance, rising from fourth to third place in its market share estimates, according to the report.

“Epic is making inroads into the market and will undoubtedly provide sustained competition for Cerner in this area,” said Crandall in a statement. “McKesson, although strong in the industry as a whole, seems to be losing hospital market share to some of the other companies more targeted in EMR.”

Privately-held Epic has assiduously built its market strength, from just $31 million in 1997 to roughly $1.8 billion in 2013, according to Kalorama – which points to its recent deal with CVS/Caremark, to provide EMRs for its retail clinics nationwide, as another huge win.

Still, the study suggests that larger companies like Epic will continue to see pressure from smaller – and perhaps nimbler – vendors.

Kalorama shows that while Epic made slight gains, it did so in part thanks to stumbles by Allscripts, which has suffered from management issues in recent years. Meanwhile, other EMR giants – McKesson, GE Healthcare and Siemens – all lost some marketshare.

The upshot? The EMR industry is booming but fragmented, with more than half of marketshare (52 percent) represented by scads of smaller companies – a steep uptick from 42 percent in 2013.

There is still no one clear EMR leader, according to Kalorama, which predicts good chances for new entrants – especially Web-based products – and plenty of opportunity for mergers and acquisitions.

Access the full report here.

[See also: Array of EHR options fuels doc adoption]

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