3 reasons most EHR vendors will be out of business by 2017

The crowded field of electronic health record vendors likely will be slashed to less than half by 2017, or by the implementation of Meaningful Use Stage 3--whichever comes first--according to a new Black Book Market Research report. Most vendors are likely to go out of business, merge or be acquired, according to the survey of 880 EHR consultants, analysts, managers and support team members.

The report follows up on another report released in February that called 2013 the "year of the great EHR switch" due to user dissatisfaction.

Nine in 10 respondents said that most vendors won't still be around for Meaningful Use Stage 3. That doesn't mean only the big players will survive, though. There are still more than 600 smaller vendors jockeying for a piece of the action.

"Many mid-market vendors, particularly those with niche focus on medical and surgical specialists, and alternative care delivery settings are pushing government initiatives for industry-wide innovation, connectivity and usability and gaining replacement market share," Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, said in an announcement.

Well-funded, inventive small vendors that have found a specialty niche are more likely to survive than those trying to be all things to all physicians, according to 82 percent of respondents.

Among the findings:

  • 88 percent cited lack of focus on usability as the main reason so many will fail
  • 77 percent of vendors said that the hard costs of replacing lost clients is one of their most pressing revenue generation concerns;
  • 71 percent of EHR vendor employees expect to change jobs within the industry at least two more times in the next three years.

Spurred by federal incentives, the EHR vendor market hit $20 billion in 2012, a 15 percent increase from $17.9 billion in 2011, according to Kalorama Information, which predicts a healthy increase in sales for two more years.

A KLAS report from December, however, found that more than 200 small hospitals changed or replaced EHR systems last year, often due to joining a larger organization and adopting its system.

To learn more:
- read the announcement