KLAS: Hospital EMR sales slowed in 2008, but now trending up

These are Epic times for clinical information systems, as the Verona, WI, EMR vendor won nearly 40 percent of new acute care EMR sales in the U.S. and Canada last year, according to research firm KLAS Enterprises. McKesson and Siemens Medical Solutions also gained market share, as Siemens made a dent in the 400-bed-and-up category, Epic's traditional sweet spot. Still, the collapse of global financial markets and economic uncertainty made 2008 the lowest point for new inpatient EMR contracts in hospitals with at least 200 beds in the seven years that KLAS has been tracking clinical systems sales.

Of course, that was before the February 2009 passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has energized the EMR sector, so KLAS is predicting a big reversal of last year's results. "During this study, KLAS identified more than 400 large hospitals that either have no EMR or are using a legacy system, and we are already aware of purchasing activity that, if the rate continues, will far exceed 2008 sales," study author Jason Hess said, according to Healthcare IT News.

Reading between the lines, there could be a lot of sales activity for CPOE and other EMR components, depending on how HHS ultimately defines "meaningful use," the standard for earning some of the stimulus money. KLAS reports that Cerner has more hospitals using its CPOE technology than any other vendor, while Eclipsys is the leader among physician CPOE users. Neither of those companies placed in the top three in EMR sales to large hospitals in 2008.

To learn more:
- read this rather upbeat Healthcare IT News story
- check out this piece in Health Data Management, which focuses on the poor 2008 results