In 2014, the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) market surpassed $23 billion dollars, according to a report from research firm Kalorama. The EMR market is currently booming, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down. As EMR vendors continue to improve and upgrade their products, along with the fact that the government is increasing the use of EMRs for quality of care reasons, one can expect the market for these products to continue sky rocketing.
EMR’s software hegemony is being consolidated in this era. There are over 400 vendors currently available in the market, with 27% of these vendors planning to replace and upgrade their systems. The EMR market is also shaping up to be one of the biggest revenue generating markets in healthcare.
One improvement we are seeing on many EMR systems is mobile integration. As of 2013, 89% of physicians and doctors use smartphones and tablets daily in the office for record keeping and for communicating with staff. Having EMR on tablets and smartphones will make it much easier for doctors to retrieve patient’s information and update it if they prescribe patients things.
As the healthcare industry transitions from ICD-9 to ICD-10, EMR systems will have to do the same. Vendors will have to equip their systems with a module that accurately maps ICD-9 code of the past to the new ICD-10 code set. Because both ICD-10 and EMRs are created to improve clinical communication and improving the quality of patient care, it is important the EMRs be compatible with ICD-10 code in the near future.
The healthcare industry is moving towards storing its big data in data clouds. Because EMRs are products meant to organize and sort many data, it is obvious that EMR vendors are going to have to store their data in the cloud. This is beneficial for them because all their data will be interconnected via the internet and it is very cost effective.
More EMR vendors are looking to affiliate themselves with pharmacies as well. This facilitates record keeping and makes it easier to obtain the correct prescription.
With the EMR market expanding at such a fast rate, it will be extremely important for EMR vendors to adapt and keep up to date with current trends in big data and the healthcare industry. Today, many EMR users are looking to replace their current vendor due to dissatisfaction with the system, a lack of key features, or a poor interface. Vendors will have to change this in order to remain relevant in one of the healthcare industry’s most profitable markets in the future.