Report: EHR Market Share Shifting, Cerner Continues to Lead Global Market

May 16, 2018
The electronic health record (EHR) vendor market share has changed as players have dropped out, and Cerner continues to lead the global EHR market, with 17 percent of the market, more than double the market share of its rival, Epic, according to a recent report.

The electronic health record (EHR) vendor market share has changed as players have dropped out, and Cerner continues to lead the global EHR market, with 17 percent of the market, more than double the market share of its rival, Epic, according to a recent report from market researcher Kalorama Information.

According to Kalorama’s annual report, “EMR 2018: The Market for Electronic Medical Records,” Epic, the Verona, Wis.-based EHR vendor, holds the Number 2 spot in the global market with 8.8 percent market share. Allscripts and GE Healthcare were third and fourth, respectively.  

However, the report notes that when the overall EMR market is segmented into big healthcare systems and smaller hospitals and large physician practices, Epic leads there. No one company has majority share and there are scores of competitors, the report states.

As noted in Kalorama’s annual report last year, while a few companies own more than half the market, no one EHR vendor, not even the largest healthcare IT firms, have even a fifth of the market. Kalorama’s report authors credit this lack of dominant market share to ongoing issues around “usability, vendor-switching, lack of mindshare in the market" and also note that “customers are aching for better.”

In last year’s report, the market research firm estimated the size of the EHR market at $28 billion. And, the market is expected to rise quickly and is forecasted to hit $36.6 billion by 2021.

Kansas City, Mo-based Cerner garnered the top position with 17 percent market share reaching revenues of $5.1 billion in 2017. As noted in Kalorama’s report, the company's acquisition of Siemens IT in 2015 was a major move that influenced advancement of Cerner's market share. Its success securing of the U.S. Department of Defense contract, announced in July 2015, also helped to move Cerner forward.

Cerner is continuing to add new business and add to its services by adding CernerITWorks, a suite of services that improve the ability of hospital IT departments to meet their organization's needs. A second example is Cerner RevWorks, which includes solutions and services to help healthcare organizations with their revenue cycle functions. According to Kalorama, the company is very strong in the hospital IT market.

“Healthcare still involves a lot of local markets and then with this type of software there is a web opportunity to sell direct to smaller hospitals and physicians.  EHR companies that have earned market share include large and small companies,” the 2017 report stated.

According to the firm’s 2017 report, McKesson secured the second position, yet the company’s market share dropped to third this year.

Epic currently is the second largest EHR vendor, by global market share, with 8.8 percent of the global market, according to the 2018 report, and the company is building on its market position. “The company is the vendor for Kaiser Permanente and many other large healthcare companies and has many new innovative solutions that are of interest to large hospitals, capturing a greater share of the new business in the EMR market than rivals,” the report states.

Further, it is anticipated that Epic will continue to gather market share attempting to add to its ambulatory market share as well. “The company has one of the most complete enterprise EHRs with an excellent record of accomplishment. The company has a strong customer service record and a consistent record for making realistic promises and being able to deliver on them,” the market report states.

“There are many EMR providers, so it's important to look at where they operate,” Mary Anne Crandall, the report's author, said in a statement. “In the competition for large healthcare systems, it's the top four EMR companies mainly participating with some exceptions. If you focus on small hospitals, you've got Cerner and Epic but also Meditech is a factor. When it's physician practices, you see Epic and Allscripts but also NextGen, athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, NueMD – a lot of competitors.”

Crandall added, “In the physician office arena, competition is fierce but the leader in this arena seems to be Epic. The company is aggressively filling the gaps in their program by either acquiring technology or developing it to meet the needs.”

According to this latest report, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions secured 6.1 percent market share, climbing the ladder after its merger with Misys and acquisition of Eclipsys. In 2017, Allscripts bought McKesson's EHR technology, part of the Enterprise Information Solutions business unit that includes the Paragon EHR system. The report authors contend that this will allow Allscripts to offer a stronger hospital offering, especially among smaller hospitals and health systems.