EHR Vendors Are Dying Out
The healthcare industry has undergone a number of fundamental changes over the past decade. The increased use of wearable medical devices, the now ongoing struggle to defend against ransomware and other cybercrime threats, and on and on.
One change you may not have noticed is how many Electronic Health Record (EHR) software vendors there are. There’s been a growing trend of vendor consolidation in the EHR market, one that’s gone relatively unnoticed when compared to high profile trends in the medical community.
But don’t let that fool you – vendor consolidation will have serious effects on your ambulatory health services practice. Do you know what they are?
The State Of EHR Vendors In 2019
There are less than half as many EHR vendors in operation as there were a decade ago.
According to KLAS Research, an Orem, Utah based IT Review Firm, EHR vendors have dropped from 1000 plus companies 10 years ago, to roughly 400 companies in total today.
“Not enough doctors pay attention to what’s happening with healthcare technology. But there are some who are worried, and they’re worried because they’re aware of the ramifications,” said Libby, president of the Virginia Pediatric Group and a board member of the Physicians Foundation, to Medical Economics.
How Will Vendor Consolidation Affect Your Practice?
As in any economic model, when you decrease competition, it’s often the consumer who suffers:
- Migration Concerns: To start, if your current EHR solution is phased out by a merger, then you’ll have to find a new one. While it’s likely that the vendor that’s consolidating with your current vendor will offer some form of incentive for moving to their solution, that’s not a given. And support for platform migration can vary greatly in quality.
- Lack of Technical` Support: Many physicians are already worried about what this consolidation will mean for levels and quality of available tech support. If you’ve gotten used to dealing with a niche, relatively small vendor, then moving to a much larger one may not result in the same level of service.
- Increased Fees: Again, based on a lack of competition, newly consolidated vendors that have gained a larger market share by acquiring your vendor will have the leverage to charge more in fees.
What Can You Do?
The best way to mitigate the effects that will come with vendor consolidation is to work with an IT company you can rely on. An IT company will be able to :
- Manage vendors, helping you find the most cost-effective option in your market after your current vendor is acquired.
- Provide technical support that you may not get from your next EHR vendor.
- Help to facilitate your migration to avoid any delays or errors.
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