I wrote previously about hospital EHR’s top 3 horses in the race for inpatient EHR dominance. No doubt this dominance is reflected in the jobs posted and job searches that are done on our healthcare IT job board. In fact, the following three job searches are clicked on the most in almost all of our healthcare IT jobs email newsletter:
However, there might be a new EHR vendor in town that’s worth keeping your eyes on. As was said on Hospital EMR and EHR, athenahealth is going to inpatient EHR school. For those following along at home, athenahealth has made two major acquisitions to move their company into the inpatient EHR space. This is a big move by the company who had mostly worked in the ambulatory EHR world.
Certainly last year athenahealth stuck its little toe in the inpatient environment with some sort of connect product which didn’t even cause a ripple in the inpatient world. These two new acquisitions show athenahealth’s plans to enter the inpatient EHR world in a big way.
For those brushing up their resumes, it’s going to take athenahealth at least a couple years to get a product that can compete with the likes of Epic, Cerner and MEDITECH in the inpatient EHR environment, but you can see that it’s clearly their goal. Keep your eyes on them to see what happens.
If you think about the timing of it all, 2-3 years might be just about right. In 2-3 years we’ll be at the end of meaningful use incentive money. In 2-3 years many hospitals systems will be up on their existing inpatient EHR contracts. Unlike in the ambulatory world where the EHR renewal price is often much less, in the hospital world the upgrade price for the major EHR vendors is often very expensive. This provides a great opportunity for an athenahealth or other EHR vendor to step in. Ironically, that’s the model Epic has used to replace MEDITECH in so many places.
What do you think of this acquisition? Will athenahealth have success in the inpatient EHR market?