Why The EHR Market Is Poised For Disruption

Brian Eastwood | CIO | February 10, 2014

Simply put, 2014 is a big year for electronic health record vendors. They must adhere to stricter standards under the federal government's meaningful use program while convincing healthcare providers that they can meet future needs for information exchange, patient engagement and data analytics. Not everyone will make the cut.

The healthcare industry has known for years that the electronic health record (EHR) market, dominated by a handful of EHR vendors but also populated with literally thousands of disparate systems, can't maintain status quo forever. Mergers, acquisitions, consolidations and bankruptcies, though seldom mentioned, are nonetheless inevitable.

This belief exists in spite of the government's meaningful use incentive program, which gives hospitals and eligible healthcare providers money if they can demonstrate that they are using an EHR system — and which, some say, has created artificial demand for EHR software and thrown less-than-stellar systems a much-needed life preserver.

Stage 1 of meaningful use, which began in 2011, was a "low hurdle to get across" for EHR vendors and healthcare providers alike, says John Moore, managing partner of healthcare IT analyst firm Chilmark Research.