EHR market for urgent care centers wide open

Unlike some providers, urgent care centers have more options when it comes to choosing an electronic health record system, according to a new report from KLAS Research.

The study, in which officials from 76 urgent care organizations were interviewed, according to healthsystemCIO.com, found that stand-alone urgent care centers, or those in a chain, tended to use "best of breed" EHR systems. Hospital-affiliated urgent care centers tended more to ambulatory or in-house emergency department EHRs.

"There isn't a case of bad or good chocolate-just different preferences. The best [electronic medical record system] really depends on the urgent care center," report author Erik Bermudez said in a statement. "Some value clinician efficiency. Others need top vendor support because they don't have in-house IT. Some need to share patient information with an affiliated hospital. Each urgent care center should examine their facility's needs, and then begin vetting vendors and products."

These results are good news for vendors, who arguably are the biggest beneficiaries of the Meaningful Use incentive program, with EHR sales at $17.9 billion in 2011, up 14.2 percent from the year before.

Unlike some provider groups, where the pool of vendors is smaller, when it comes to urgent care centers more vendors can vie for these sales and grab a share of the market.

Moreover, that market itself is expected to grow. Eighty-six percent of urgent care centers are expected to expand in volume, locations or size, according to the KLAS report. With 9,000 urgent care centers in the United States, that gives many vendors an opportunity to boost sales.

To learn more:
- here's the KLAS announcement
- purchase the study
- check out this healthsystemCIO.com article
- access the Kalorama vendor study

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