EHR market expected to continue growth for next few years

New report shows EHR market set to continue growing

The health care industry has seen a major leap in the number of health professionals who have adopted electronic health records. According to The Commonwealth Fund, as of 2013, more than half of the doctors across the U.S. have adopted EHR systems, and this number has grown since then. Despite the fact that so many providers have already implemented these innovative systems, the EHR market is expected to continue growing, according to a new report from Kalorama Information. 

EHR market growth expected to continue for next 5 years
There is an increasing number of effective EHR technology being put on the market as health IT continues to become more advanced. Over the coming years, providers will start taking into account the need for their practices to successfully adhere to the new ICD-10 codes and other changes occurring throughout the industry. They are expected to begin upgrading their systems to enhance the quality of their patient care. 

The new Kalorama report, called EMR 2015: The Market for Electronic Medical Records, states that the EHR replacement market is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 7 to 8 percent over the next few years. 

What will health professionals be searching for in their new systems? Graphic interfaces that enable physicians to view and choose from the new ICD-10 codes as well as tools for effective outcomes  reporting are features that high-quality vendors will offer and providers will look for. As the mobile health technology market grows, providers may also begin to prefer systems that offer mobile apps where they can enter and view essential data both in and out of the office with ease. 

Bruce Carlson, the publisher of Kalorama Information, stated in a press release that there are a number of reasons providers will be upgrading their EHR systems over the course of the next few years, including everything from those new features to upgrades in training and consulting. 

"There might be a thought now that everyone has their EMR now so the market won't grow, but I'd argue against that," Carlson said in the press release. "There are upgrades, vendor switches, and still untapped physician markets for web-based products. That being said, it's like any other software market now that the direct incentives are over and as such, vendors need to sell on value."   

New system features spur market growth
As many of the industry's providers are enrolled in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, it is becoming vital that they have an EHR system that allows them to effectively meet meaningful use requirements to avoid financial penalties. This is another factor that is giving the EHR replacement market a boost.

In fact, practices and facilities that have not implemented an EHR system by the end of 2015 will have to deal with a 1-percent decrease in their Medicare-based claims. This will increase to 2 percent by 2016 and 3 percent for the following years. These reductions could put the financial future of medical facilities in danger, spurring many providers to adopt EHRs. 

"Revenue Cycle management and integrated EHR vendor loyalty among small practice EHR physician practices is still on a significant upward trajectory," Doug Brown, Black Book's managing partner, said in a public statement. "The EHR/practice billing vendor's abilities to meet the evolving demands of interoperability, networking, mobile devices, accountable care, patient accessibility, customization for specialty workflow, and reimbursement are the main factors that the replacement mentality and late adoption remain volatile especially among solo and small practices." 

High-quality vendors are continuously enhancing their EHR systems to meet the demands of the evolving industry. The EHR market will maintain steady growth as health professionals continue to look for health technologies that meet their practices' needs and streamline many of their day-to-day tasks and workflows.