Archive for April, 2011

Electronic Medical Record software vendors brace for “Peak EMR”

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

With hundreds of EMR vendors, will there be enough physicians to satisfy supply?

Within the next two or three years, the EMR marketplace may reach “PeakEMR”, the point at which physicians purchasing of Electronic Medical Record systems reaches its highest level and begins to slow.

This concept of “Peak EMR” is based on the bell curve theory first introduced in 1956 by M. King Hubbert as related to worldwide oil reserves, called “Peak Oil”. Similarly, the EMR adoption curve will peak when half of the Eligible Provider (EP) physicians have begun using electronic medical and records in a “meaningful” way.

Consider these generally accepted statistics EMR /EHR statistics:

The US has 640,000 physicians. Not all of them are required to adopt EMR systems as required by the HITECH Act, so the number of potential sales is far from the seemingly large pool of 640,000 EMR purchasing prospects. Then, consider that there is more than one physician in a practice, all using the same system. That’s a one unit sale, not one for each provider.

On top of that are estimates that cite approximately 25% of physicians are already are using a EMR system. Estimates for adoption, mind you, range anywhere from 5% to more than 50%. Now, consider claims of many EMR vendors all claiming to have thousands and thousands of users already. If so, this further diminishes EMR sales forecasts.

So are there enough Eligible Providers to go around? Sales of electronic medical records is competitive. Physicians are confused and overwhelmed. EMR vendors are consolidating. Even with claims of a recent report stating that 35% of physicians currently using an EMR system will be replacing that current system, the efforts of EMR vendors is understandably in high gear to gain a piece of the EMR market before the window of opportunity closes.