Electronic medical records, or EMRs, is a global market that is projected to be worth billions. In the United States alone, the projected size of the market is $9.3 billion. The global market is estimated tobe above $23 billion. As more people access affordable health care, these numbers are certain to continue rising. By knowing the key trends of this industry, it will become possible to predict how valuable this market can be in the future and how lucrative of an opportunity it may be.
1. US Government Influence Will Continue to Set Trends
Policies that have been set by the federal government in the United States will continue to drive up the need for healthcare IT needs. The United States already accounts for nearly 50% of the EMR market, so having growth in this sector shows the most promise for profitability.
2. A Good EMR Implementation Will Change the Health Care Industry
Many medical organizations have discovered that the simple conversion to electronic records from traditional paper records isn’t going to change how business is conducted. EMRs must become a means to an end instead of being the anticipated result. This means there will be opportunities for a number of different fields in healthcare to find success because a broader plan of action must generally be implemented.
3. Better Management is Going to Result in Huge Cost Savings
In the United States, just 5% of the total population consumes 50% of the total healthcare costs that are spent every year. This means that a focus on the EMR market size and the development of better communication tools can help to make treatment options more practical and effective. A strong growth in the electronic records industry has been directly correlated with more effective chronic disease control.
4. Watch for Opportunities to Consolidate
Medical providers are finding that consolidation is the key to success in their industry. EMR providers are likely to find this as well. In practical terms, the EMR market is a finite market. Eventually all existing healthcare providers are going to transition to electronic records. This means the only viable customers for this industry are going to be brand new clinics, hospitals, and other providers. To stay viable, the industry may look to consolidate resources so that everyone can still get a piece of the pie.
5. Better Records Will Lead to Better Treatment Options
The most exciting outlook for the EMR market is in the overall improvement of the software that is being developed for record keeping. When a patient’s records can be more precise, then doctors are going to have more effective information that can be used to create a treatment plan. This means that patient care costs could go lower. In return, expect many medical providers to put in budgetary increases for their overall IT needs.
6. Hospitals Are Going to Make EMR a Top Priority
There are several government mandates in play between 2013-2018 that will cause many hospitals and other medical providers to put off IT spending in favor for EMR spending. This is because policies are mandating their conversion over to electronic records. If they want to be able to take on Medicare patients or provide other services to patients on subsidized care, they’ll need to have a solid EMR plan in place and this will provide a short-term spike to the industry.
7. Look for Multiple Product Software Applications
Some things in the medical field are never going to go away. Patients are going to need to be billed for services. Insurance companies, government programs, or both are going to require specific information about the diagnosis of a patient so that proper funding can be applied. The future of the EMR market may just like in the inclusion of multiple option applications that will allow coders and billers to one-click bill items that are placed onto a patient’s chart.
8. Innovation is Going to Rule the Day
The whole point of implementing a system of EMR is that it makes treatment more efficient. There must also be a focus on inputting information into the medical records in an efficient manner. Instead of forcing data input through traditional methods, such as a keyboard, look for speech recognition inputs, data warehousing, and remote uplinks as options for instant data transfers. Without innovation, dissatisfaction with the systems is likely to increase and this many limit sales opportunity and future marketing growth.
9. Smaller Medical Practices Are Going to Finally Get on Board
The trickle down of the EMR market is finally going to be achieved in the near future. It all started with some of the larger providers around the world because they were better able to front the costs. Medium-sized hospitals and providers are the current customers of the EMR industry. As deadlines draw near or as information on paper grows more scarce to access, look for the smallest practices around the world to begin updating to electronic records as well.
10. Simplicity Will Rule Over the EMR Industry
The biggest complaints that exist right now in the EMR market is that the records are cumbersome and offer a complex interface that not all users are able to effectively use. Many software programs that keep medical records lack a number of key features that make accessing the records an attractive feature. The company that come out with a simple, interactive, and feature-rich system of recording keeping that enhances EMR usability is the company that is going to dominate the market in the future.
Although the EMR market size is growing, it is still remarkably small. Some estimates place the number of hospitals using electronic medical records at just above 200. This means there could be explosive growth in the American market especially as deadlines draw near and penalties to providers are threatened. There are many good things on the horizon for electronic records. By knowing the current facts about its market size, a bright future can be predicted.