Confusion over vendor qualifications and federal guidelines slowed somewhat the projected growth rate of electronic medical records systems to 13.6% in 2010, a value of $15.7 billion, according to a study by the healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information.
But despite the slower pace, considerable growth did occur in 2010. Kalorama Information publisher Bruce Carlson said more growth is expected in 2011 and beyond.
"We think that while progress was made in physician adoption and in vendor sales, there is still a lot more potential," he said. "There are still a considerable number of physicians who need to be fully functional and hospitals that have to improve their stage ranking."
Indeed, three quarters of healthcare executives surveyed for the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2011 said they are looking at timely compliance with meaningful use.
Kalorama survey results show physician usage of EMR near 50%; reimbursement checks have been issued. As new systems are sold, companies will still earn revenues from existing clients in servicing and consulting, and Kalorama expects between 18%-20% market growth for the next two years.
Kalorama's report -- EMR 2011: The Market for Electronic Medical Record Systems – showed EMR growth rates of 10% in 2009 and 13.6% in 2010, lower than the 15% growth that Kalorama had predicted for each years. The research firm attributed the slower growth rate to hesitation by physicians confused about meaningful use guidelines.