Report: EHR market to grow almost 8% a year

The market for electronic health records in North America is projected to grow 7.85 percent a year until 2015, based in large part on government support, according to a recently released report from Elmhurst, Ill.-based IT-research firm TechNavio.

The report identified key EHR vendors as Cerner, McKesson, Epic and Siemens. It also warned that privacy and security concerns and the increasing adoption of software-as-a-service-based EHR systems could both pose a challenge to this market growth.

The growth rate in this year's report is only half of what the company predicted last year for the North American EHR market, when it projected an annual growth rate of 15.7 percent. That report noted that improved patient care would be a key factor in that growth. The report flagged slow physician adoption of EHR systems as the main challenge to this growth.

Interestingly, in a separate report released this summer, TechNavio predicted better growth for the global EHR market (12.6 percent) than for the North American market, in large part due to increased demand. However, the global market also can be adversely affected by concerns regarding the security of confidential patient data. The key vendors globally include Cerner, GE Healthcare, McKesson and Siemens.

At least one other study has noted that the government support from Meaningful Use incentive program has spurred the EHR market. Global rating agency Fitch also has warned that the incentive payments are providing hospitals with only a temporary revenue bump that won't even fully pay for the systems.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- read about the global report
- check out last year's North American report