EMR Market Share

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.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

9 Comments

  • Nice article and true to the point. If you look at every advertised EMR vendor and add up all their subscribers (and these are all different) then it would seem that 120% of all hospitals and clinics and 98% of all Physicians are using an EMR system. WOW…. then why is the Obama Administration pushing for this so dramatically. Hmmm.
    HIMSS and AHICA publish that only 30% of ALL healthcare practices (hospitals and MD.Offices) are using any kind of EMR/EHR system at best figure. Market share should not be a concern, FIT and Practicality, usability, integration, cost, support and customization should be the main questions.

  • Nice to hear someone confirm what I think we all know. This EMR movement has really not gotten off the ground as of yet. I also sheds light on the fact that the big guys are as worried about market share as us small providers. Its just a shame there seems to be no rules about what you can say to drive “Market Share” it would seem that the statements above are being said to please shareholders and have no relevance to the truth.
    Shai, I could not agree with you more. If doctors had your insight a lot more would be on board and not afraid to make a “wrong move” due to the rhetoric the large providers spread around to make them look good. It only confuses people.

  • Enjoyed your post. While the Allscripts’ statements are obviously marketing hype, you point out part of the frustration with the EHR initiative – an attempt to create a new national healthcare infrastructure with no reliable data to demonstrate the current status (or progress) of this effort.

  • Frank MD,
    Yes, it’s hard to reach a goal when you can’t measure it. Although, I’m not sure where you got the idea of a national healthcare infrastructure. I think that’s a pipe dream.

  • John –
    I reference the concept of a national healthcare infrastructure based on the stated purpose of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on their website. ONC’s mission statement is “promoting development of a nationwide Health IT infrastructure”. I agree that it seems to be a pipe dream at this time, but based on the ONC mission, this appears to be the eventual goal.
    http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov__onc/1200

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