Rob Tholemeier from Crosstree Capital Partners had an interesting article a while back on the Health Data Management blogs about ways that EMR vendors succeed. He provides 5 approaches that these EMR companies take to the EMR and EHR market. Here’s the 5 methods he identifies with a few of my thoughts after each:
Leveraging Size – I call these the Jabba the Hutt EHR vendors. They’re really big and powerful and no doubt will continue to sell a bunch of software since they have “leading vendor” name recognition. Rob correctly notes that they’ll continue to grow through mergers and acquisitions.
Specialization – I find this segment of the market really interesting. I’ve been seeing more and more of these specialty specific EHR vendors carving out their niche in the market. I still think the best play for a “leading EHR vendor” is likely to acquire a number of specialty specific EHR.
Regional Focus – Many people to want to “buy local.” There’s something really powerful about knowing your EHR vendor’s office is down the street and you can go and wring their neck personally if something goes wrong. < sarcasm >Not that anything would ever go wrong with an EMR. < end sarcasm font>
Suite Selling – I found this one interesting. Although, I think that it’s more of a factor for hospital EMR selection. I guess you could make the case that practices purchasing their EHR based on the hospital system purchase might fall into this category as well. Basically, the practice adopts a certain EHR because their hospital is subsidizing it or has a nicely built connection to that specific EHR company.
Advanced Technology – I’ve seen a few companies that have made this pitch. I still find this a challenge for an EMR company to make this pitch and be heard above all the EMR noise. However, I think if anyone is going to do it, I think it will likely come in the user interface.
An interesting way to stratify the various EMR companies. Are there any other categories of approaches that he missed?