Globally, the ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) market is driven by the initiatives taken by various governments for encouraging the adoption of EHR systems. Essentially, the increasing usage of healthcare information technologies (HITs) is raising the demand for ambulatory EHR across the world, as is the strong need for reducing the overall cost of healthcare. EHRs are digital records of the healthcare services provided to patients, and they may include lab and radiology reports, diagnoses, prescriptions, appointment and procedure schedules, and payment and insurance data.
HITs are being used for managing health information with the help of computer systems and allowing a secured exchange of healthcare information between providers and patients. According to government sources, the adoption of EHR solutions among doctors in the U.S. stood at 86% in 2017. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) also reported that pediatricians, obstetricians, and general practitioners are the primary users of EHR systems. This is because these solutions, especially those available via the cloud, offer patients and doctors access to the health information from anywhere, at any time.
Among the categories of the practice size segment, large practices dominated the market in the past as large practices are better financed than small and mid-sized ones. The ambulatory EHR market has also been divided based on application, and in this segment, the practice management category is expected to grow the most rapidly in the coming years. According to P&S Intelligence, it will be due to the various beneficial features presented by the EHR solutions.
Moreover, the end user segment of the ambulatory EHR market was led by the hospital ambulatory centers bifurcation historically. This is because of the rising prevalence of cancer, heart diseases, COPD, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, which is leading to a rising footfall at hospitals. These places have the best equipment and trained professionals, which leads to a high quality of healthcare. Hence, with governments constructing new hospitals, the usage of EHRs and other HIT solutions is increasing.
Earlier, it was North America that held the largest share in the ambulatory EHR market, with Europe contributing the second-highest revenue. The dominance of North America can be attributed to the growing geriatric population and surging number of initiatives by the government to promote HITs in this region. A report by the U.S. government reflected that 9 in every 10 office-based physicians in the U.S. were using EHR systems in 2017. Additionally, the country already has advanced IT infrastructure, which makes the usage of any new technology easy.
Therefore, it can be said that the surging usage of HITs globally will propel the demand for EHR systems in the coming years.