KLAS: Tough EMR sales in 2008, future looks brighter Epic leads the pack

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Healthcare IT research firm KLAS has released its annual clinical market share report, which details the wins and losses of acute-care EMR vendors at large hospitals with more than 200 beds. The report found that in 2008, EMR vendors sold the fewest number of new contracts in the United States and Canada in the last seven years.

However, despite a tough economy, Epic Systems continued to make gains among large hospitals, capturing nearly 40 percent of the new business, according to the report. McKesson and Siemens Healthcare also scored some unusual wins, while Cerner saw no net growth in its clinical market share for the first time.

KLAS collected data from more than 1,600 hospitals with more than 200 beds in the United States and Canada. While acknowledging the seven-year low in EMR sales, the report also noted that the recent past does not appear to be an indication of the future.

“The advent of new meaningful use requirements, plus the ongoing debate around broader healthcare reform, has many organizations looking for a new clinical information system,” said report author Jason Hess, KLAS general manager of clinical research. In its investigation, KLAS identified “more than 400 large hospitals that either have no EMR or are using a legacy system; and we are already aware of purchasing activity that, if the rate continues, will far exceed 2008 sales,” Hess added.

Beyond the steady progress of Epic’s EpicCare Inpatient, KLAS reported that Siemens’ Soarian Clinicals and McKesson’s Paragon Clinicals found some unusual wins in 2008. Siemens was able to communicate its vision for Soarian to providers outside its client base, as five non-Siemens hospitals bought Soarian in 2008, despite the product’s historically low computerized provider order entry (CPOE) adoption. Further, the company won three hospitals in the more than 400-bed space, bucking Epic’s trend of pushing vendors out of that market.

McKesson’s Paragon also made some surprising inroads with larger hospitals, given its reputation as a smaller community hospital solution, according to the firm. Of the 12 McKesson EMR wins in hospitals of more than 200 beds, four of the facilities chose Paragon as opposed to Horizon. The wins indicate that Paragon, one of the lowest-rated systems that KLAS followed in 2000, is now gaining “significant momentum, not to mention leading performance scoring in the community hospital information system market,” the authors noted.

For Cerner and Eclipsys, the research found that leadership in CPOE adoption did not necessarily translate into EMR wins. As validated by KLAS earlier this year, Cerner has the highest number of hospitals doing CPOE, and Eclipsys has the greatest number of physicians doing CPOE – yet neither vendor was among the top three in new large hospital EMR sales in the United States and Canada in 2008.

Other vendors highlighted in the report include GE Healthcare, Meditech, Medsphere and QuadraMed. The full report can be accessed at: www.KLASresearch.com.