The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act passed in 2009 helped kickstart the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) in healthcare facilities by giving healthcare providers financial incentives to begin using the software.
Today EHRs can be found in nearly all hospitals. As of 2019, 96% of hospitals and 72% office-based physicians have adopted the use of EHRs.
Below we explore the top ambulatory EHR vendors by market share.
Top 10 ambulatory EHR vendors by market share
||# of Installs
||% of Market Share
||Epic Systems Corporation
||Evident, a CPSI Company
||Altera Digital Health, a Harris Company
Fig 1. Data from Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Data is proprietary and updated on a continuous basis. Data is accurate as of August 2022.
Which ambulatory EHR vendor has the largest market share?
Epic Systems Corporation dominates the ambulatory EHR space with 41% of the market share. Oracle Cerner comes in second place with 23% of the market share, nearly half that of Epic. Rounding out the top three is MEDITECH with 13% market share. Epic, Oracle Cerner and MEDITECH are also the top three vendors providing inpatient EHR systems.
The top three ambulatory EHR vendors hold over 75% of the overall ambulatory EHR market. Once you get outside the top five vendors, market share drops considerably for the remaining vendors on the list.
Ambulatory EHR vs inpatient EHR
Ambulatory EHR systems are designed primarily for outpatient centers and small physician practices, where patient visits do not include an overnight stay. Inpatient EHRs are designed for use on patients staying at a facility for at least one night and are therefore primarily used by hospitals
Ambulatory EHRs tend to be less complex than inpatient EHRs and have different certification criteria that is more focused on patient-centric features
What is ambulatory care?
Ambulatory care, also known as outpatient care, is medical care that is provided in an outpatient setting and does not traditionally require admission for a hospital stay. Examples of outpatient facilities include medical offices, ambulatory surgery centers, hospital outpatient departments and dialysis centers. Ambulatory care typically focuses on diagnosis, observation, consultation, treatment and rehabilitation services.
Electronic health records vs electronic medical records
Most people tend to use the terms electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) interchangeably. However, there are some technical differences between the two.
While both contain digital records of a patient’s chart, EHRs tend to have a bit more functionality and have a more complete picture of a patient’s overall healthcare history.
EMRs track a patient’s medical and treatment history in one facility, offering a narrower view of a patient’s medical history. EHRs can do all the things an EMR can – and more. EHRs contain more data on a patient than that collected in a provider’s office, including things such as patient allergies and lab results, helping to form a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s medical history.
EHRs are also designed so all the healthcare professionals, such as laboratories and specialists, can share data on a patient across different practices.
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