Kalorama: Six lead the EMR pack

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The drive for paperless medicine creates a lot of opportunities for innovative companies, but only six companies earn over half of the revenue in the EMR market, according to market researcher Kalorama Information. Still, the healthcare market research publisher indicates that there are opportunities for smaller EMR products to grow; leadership of the $17.9 billion market for EMR is more fluid than it might appear from those results.

The top companies in the EMR market in terms of revenue earned in 2011 were Cerner, McKesson, Siemens, GE Healthcare, Epic and Allscripts. While the first four may not be surprising, the latter two will be of particular interest to those watching the EMR industry over the next few years, the New York City-based researcher stated.

“I think the firms to watch among the six are Allscripts and Epic as they compete with each other for customers and seek to cement their position as top EMR choices,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “All of these companies are well-positioned to earn revenues not only from software sales, but from customizing, consulting and training as well.”

Leadership could change. Kalorama Information reported there is a slight “mindshare” problem: all companies need to work better at building brand awareness with physicians and other healthcare providers. The presence of a few consistent leaders in EMR should not discourage competition, according to Kalorama Information, noting that there is still consumer confusion about brands and plenty of demand for companies that can deliver an integrated suite of products, though local and niche players that develop specific applications may be eliminated.

“Web-based is very appealing to small hospitals, rural hospitals and doctors’ offices because of cost,” Carlson stated. “Smaller companies can focus on one subset of doctors or really seek to improve the usability factors to compete with large concerns. Many vendors are rolling out new and innovative products and many more are in the works. As more installations occur, so do opportunities for additional revenues.”