Electronic health record (EHR) technology and electronic prescribing of medications account for 30 percent of total healthcare IT spending in Europe, according to Frost & Sullivan. The company’s European Electronic Health Records Market study, which covers ambulatory and hospital EHR, estimates that the market will earn revenues as high as $3.69 billion in the year 2020, up from $2.74 billion in 2014.
The trend is being driven by increasing demands for clinical and non-clinical information systems for patient administration, billing and scheduling. As the population ages, there will be a growing dependency on remote monitoring and management of chronic diseases throughout Europe. Momentum is also fuelled by the establishment of health information exchanges, and the transition to personalised medicine.
Growth Is Higher for Ambulatory EHR and Larger Practices
“Uptake has traditionally been higher in the hospital EHR segment than the ambulatory EHR segment as hospitals have a larger budget than ambulatory clinics. In the next five years, however, the hospital EHR segment is expected to mature, while the ambulatory care market witnesses considerable growth,” said Shruthi Parakkal, a healthcare research analyst for Frost & Sullivan.
According to the report, adoption rates of EHR solutions have been higher in medium-to-large practices compared to smaller ones, a consequence of bigger budgets for organisations with more physicians. As such, smaller practices have resorted to solutions involving subscription-based cloud and web EHR strategies.
Country-Specific Models and Interoperability
The years ahead will see continuing progress toward full digitisation, as discouraging obstacles such as data insecurity and poor interoperability are overcome. European healthcare organisations vary widely in their readiness and resources at the moment, with a majority of players in the industry still in the early stages of EHR implementation. Those who are farther along recognise the importance of budget allocation and realistic planning.
Parakkal noted that EHR uptake is a process which involves the implementation of dynamic technological developments, as well as adherence to local policies. “Healthcare authorities and governments across Europe have begun to realise that EHR implementation is not a one-time process and requires a continuously-evolving strategy to keep pace with market developments. Specifically, there is a need for country-specific implementation models customised to the healthcare environment and regulations rather than a region-wide strategy.”
Source: Frost & Sullivan
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