One of the most popular questions I get asked (although far behind the Which EMR is Best? question) is what’s the EMR market share look like. The problem is that there really isn’t any great data out there for EMR market share. Plus, the numbers that EMR vendors give out just clouds up the conversation completely.
Here’s an example from an article about Allscripts completed merger with Eclipsys:
“What this merger heralds is the coming together of the health care system,” says Tullman. In other words, Allscripts now provides service to about 180,000 physicians (roughly 30% of all U.S. physicians), more than 1500 American hospitals (about 50% of U.S. hospitals with 200 beds or more) and over 10,000 post acute care facilities (more than 75% of U.S. facilities).
These numbers just make me laugh. The wrong assumption that people make is that when they say they provide services to 180,000 physicians that they mean their providing EMR services. After all, Allscripts has something like 7 different EMR software products, right? Too bad that assumption would be way off base.
I think it’s pretty clear that the Allscripts product that’s most widely used is SureScripts (ePrescribing). Take out the SureScripts users and I wonder how many physicians really use Allscripts products. The number would be DRAMATICALLY lower.
Of course, we could have easily known this if we just looked at the “30% of all U.S. physicians” quote. There aren’t even that many physicians using an EMR (let alone an Allscripts EMR). I’m sure similar things could be said about the hospital numbers listed above.
Yes, these numbers are just the “spin” that is so prevalent in marketing and PR. That is their job after all. Hard to complain too much about them doing their job.
One thing is certain. Trying to figure out EMR market share is pretty much impossible. Plus, the ones that are the loudest aren’t always the ones with the most market share. Remember that.