Epic and Cerner lead EHR market in 2017
Of all U.S. electronic health record vendors, Epic had the biggest net growth in U.S. acute care hospital clients in 2017 and the largest share of the U.S. acute care hospital market, according to KLAS.
The Verona, Wis.-based vendor served just over a quarter of the market in 2017, followed closely by Cerner.
Cerner saw the most new contracts of any vendor, but the vendor also lost 25 hospitals—15 of which were due to health systems moving to a single EHR across their facilities. That trend has been increasing alongside health system acquisitions. When one health systems acquires another, they usually decide to move to the same EHR.
A single, standardized EHR platform can reduce operating costs and make data cleaner and easier to share. Interoperability was a "key driving force" of many purchasing decisions, according to KLAS.
"Interoperability is an area in which many provider organizations expect Cerner and Epic to lead the charge," KLAS' report said.
Overall, Epic clients are the most satisfied with their software's interoperability, according to the KLAS report.
Although both Epic and Cerner offer software for small hospitals, Athenahealth far and away scored the most small-hospital wins in 2017. The vendor had the smallest total market share of the major vendors, with just over 2%, but it fared well with smaller hospitals in 2017, signing more contracts than any other vendor in 2017.
That's in large part because its software is based in the cloud, an attractive value proposition for small hospitals that can't afford to host EHRs on their own servers.
Overall, standalone acute-care hospitals increased their purchasing in 2017, with 104 hospitals with fewer than 200 beds signing new EHR contracts. These hospitals are "hungry for new technology," according to KLAS, but they tend to select cloud-based EHRs like Athenahealth as they struggle with high upfront costs.
Small hospitals install new EHRs to achieve greater interoperability,the report said. They also want new technology and software that doesn't necessarily demand high upfront costs.
Those factors were a boon to Athenahealth, which signed more new contracts for its cloud-based inpatient software than it ever has. The vendor signed 41 small hospital acute-care contracts in 2017, nearly twice as many as the next most popular vendor, Cerner.
The Athenahealth board of directors is currently considering a sale of the company to Elliott Management, which released a letter Thursday urging the vendor to accept the offer. The vendor responded, saying that despite Elliott Management's claims otherwise, not all shareholders are in favor of going forward with a sale.
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