After a slump due to recent economic crisis, the global electronic health records and electronic medical records market is back in the fast lane but innovative solutions will be necessary to sustain the growth, an Accenture report says.
The global market for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) is expected to grow to $22.3 billion by the end of 2015 at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.5% according to a report released by Accenture at the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition 2014, in Orlando.
Although this is less than the previously forecasted growth rate of 9% per annum in a previous research by Accenture, analysts consider this to be ‘significant’ and believe that electronic health records market is finally back in the fast lane.
The growth of electronic health records and electronic medical records so far has been restrained by maturing markets in the US and other European countries that are still recovering from economic crisis.
The report forecasts that the Americas (North America and South America) will account for roughly half the global electronic health records and electronic medical records market, growing to $11.2 billion by the end of 2015 from $9.1 billion in 2012 at a CAGR of 7.1%.
The United States will be the driving force of this region with a market size of $9.3 billion by 2015.
EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is expected to grow to $7.1 billion by 2015 from $6.5 billion in 2012 at a CAGR of 3.3%.
Asia Pacific region, which is currently $3.2 billion in size, will witness a faster growth rate of 7.7% per annum to reach $4.0 billion by the end of 2015.
Economic downturn slows down the electronic health records and electronic medical records market due to:
- Shortage of capital
- Lack of government incentives in funding electronic health records adoption
- Operational constraints
Challenges faced by healthcare organizations that have restrained the growth of the electronic health records market:
- Financial restraints
- Regulatory mandates
- Changing reimbursement models
- Shortage of skilled workers
- Government incentives and penalties
- Patient satisfaction
- Safety and security concerns
The ROI on electronic health records has been less than promised and inconsistent.
The difficulty in quantifying the return further compels the digital health systems to question the total cost of ownership.
Kaveh Safavi , global managing director of Accenture Health:
“Our research is clear that EHR growth may have slowed, but the market has nowhere to go but up. Although the market is on the rise, the ability of healthcare leaders to achieve sustained outcomes and proven returns on their investments poses a significant challenge to the adoption of electronic health records,”
“However, as market needs continue to change, we’re beginning to see innovative solutions emerge that can better adapt and scale electronic health records to meet the needs of specific patient populations as well as the business needs of health systems,”
By offering the broadest range of functionality through large-scale electronic health records projects in academic hospitals, vendors can adapt to suit the needs of their population and finance mix:
- Expanding the use of cloud-based solutions for smaller hospitals
- Ambulatory services where Health IT budgets are going to be limited
- Integrating electronic health records within care management platforms
- Forging alliances to augment electronic health records and electronic medical records solutions
- Devising solutions that balance flexibility, interoperability, cost efficiency and patient outcomes
“To be effective, EHR platforms must leverage newer technologies, such as analytics and mobility, to adapt to the changing needs of patient populations and better connect physicians and patients. As health systems gain more experience in meeting these goals, market growth for EHR will follow,”