EHR market grows while industry looks to leverage capabilities


EHRs must support clinical optimization and care management to move to the next level

Speaking from the show floor at HIMSS today, Francis Dare, managing director at Accenture, points out that the worldwide EHR market is projected to grow at 5.5% annually through 2015, a slowdown after roughly 9% growth in 2010. The United States is growing well ahead of the global benchmark.

“The key question is how do we move from electronic patient records and take that huge investment and make it a care platform?” Dare says.

EHRs must support clinical optimization and care management through the data gathered at the site of care by the provider and the data housed in claims under the payer’s purview. She says there are several models of data-sharing in the industry today, and payers have various levels of involvement.

Models of data sharing

1 Custom approach-Large health systems build relationships within the continuum of care, particularly to support care transitions and to avoid readmissions.

2 Consortia model-Regional information exchanges such as the Colorado organization that links 2,000 office-based providers and 31 hospitals to share data.

3 Meaningful Use criteria model-Organizations that strive to achieve MU rely on direct protocol standards to share data provider-to-provider.

Dare says a large, national platform of health IT information sharing was first proposed by the Office of the National Health Information Technology Coordinator (ONC) under David Brailer, who was known as the “health information czar,” but the vision has become less tangible on the ground. In the near term, large-scale data sharing will be aligned with MU criteria.

NEXT>>> What's next in EHR leveraging


What’s next

Dare says the next step beyond moving EHRs into care management is to incorporate patient-generated data from biometric devices such as calorie counters or activity monitors.

“People want to see their data and have interactions and be involved with providers,” she says. “They want to make online appointments or send messages to providers and get a response. They want medication reminders pushed to them or to go online to make a refill request.”

By involving patients and moving EHRs toward comprehensive care management, the healthcare system can unlock the value proposition of EHRs for consumers and providers, she says.

According to Accenture data, the United States is expected to remain the largest EHR market in the Americas and globally, with a projected annual growth rate of 7.1% and will total $9.3 billion by the end of 2015. Along with increasing U.S. market demand, Brazil, projected at $0.4 billion, may represent the greatest relative growth opportunity as a countrywide federal initiative over the next several years.

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