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Researcher Puts Epic In Third Place For EMR Market Share

Posted on May 16, 2017 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

A new research report tracking market share held by EMR vendors puts Epic in third place, behind Cerner and McKesson, a conclusion which is likely to spark debate among industry watchers.

The analyst firm behind the report, Rockville, MD-based Kalorama Information, starts by pointing out that despite the hegemony maintained by larger EMR vendors, the competition for business is still quite lively. With customers still dissatisfied with their systems, the hundreds of vendors still in the market have a shot at thriving, it notes.

Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson argues that until the larger firms get their act together, there will still be plenty of opportunity for these scrappy smaller players: “It’s still true to say no company, not even the largest healthcare IT firms, have even a fifth of this market,” Carlson said in a published statement. “We think that is because there’s still usability, vendor-switching, lack of mindshare in the market and customers are aching for better.”

In calculating how much each vendor has of the EMR market, the analyst firm estimated each vendors’ hardware, software and services revenue flowing directly from EMRs, breaking out the percentage each category represented for each vendor. All projects were based on 2016 data.

Among the giants, Kalorama ranks Cerner as having the biggest market share, McKesson as second in place and Epic as third. The report’s observations include:

  • That Cerner is picking up new business, in part, due to the addition of its CernerITWorks suite, which works with hospital IT departments, and Cerner RevWorks, which supports revenue cycle management functions. Kalorama also attributes Cerner’s success to the acquisition of Siemens IT and its having won the Department of Defense EMR contract.
  • That McKesson is building on its overall success as a health IT vendor, which puts it in a good position to build on its existing technology. For example, it has solutions addressing medication safety, information access, revenue cycle management, resource use and physician adoption of EMRs, including Paragon, Horizon, EHRM, Star and Series for hospitals, along with Practice Partners, Practice Point Plus and Fusion for ambulatory care.
  • That Epic serves giant customers like Kaiser Permanente, as well as holding a major share of new business in the EMR market. Kalorama is predicting that Epic will pick up more ambulatory customers, which it has focused on more closely of late.

The report also lists Allscripts Healthcare Solution, which came in fourth. Meanwhile, it tosses in GE Healthcare, Athenahealth’s Intersystems, QSI/NextGen, MEDITECH, Greenway and eClinicalWorks in with a bundle of at least 600 companies active in the EMR market.

The report summary we editors got didn’t include some details on how the market components broke down. I would like to know more about the niches in which these vendors play.

For example, having seen a prediction earlier this year that the physician practice market would hit $17.6 billion worldwide within seven years, it would be interesting to see that dot connected with the rest of the market share information. Specifically, I’d like to know how much of the ambulatory EMR market included integrated practice management software. That would tell me something about where overall solutions for physicians were headed.

However, I still got something out of the information Kalorama shared.  As our esteemed publisher John Lynn often notes, all market share measurements are a bit, um, idiosyncratic at best, and some are not even that reliable. But as I see it the estimates are worth considering nonetheless, as they challenge us to look at the key moving parts in the EMR market. Hey, and it gives us something to talk about at tradeshow parties!

EMR Usability Point Difference, Us vs Them in EHR Adoption, and EMR Companies Don’t Care About Usability

Posted on July 7, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.


I can’t believe there’s a 30 point difference in usability. Really? No, I’m not talking about the difference. I’m talking about trying to put a number on EMR usability. Think how ridiculous that idea really is. An EMR is made up of 100s of functions and you’re going to take an EMR vendor’s usability and try and quantify it to a number. That’s just insane.


This is an awesome point that really highlights a bunch of the key challenges that happen in EMR implementations. There’s definitely a lot of blame and finger pointing that can happen. You have to battle against this for it not to happen.


This is a great article that can be summed up with: because they don’t have to care. That’s right. EHR sales are doing just fine, so they don’t have to worry about usability. Healthcare really has reached a point of acceptance of crappy technology. This will change one day, but I don’t see it changing at least until after meaningful use.

Crocodile EHR Sales – All Mouth, No Ears

Posted on April 18, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m a regular reader of a number of venture capital bloggers. I love entrepreneurship and consider investing a hobby that I love learning about. One of the best VC bloggers out there is named Mark Suster. I recently saw one of his posts titled, “The Danger of Crocodile Sales.” While Mark takes his post in a few different directions I think we have our fair share of Crocodile Salespeople in the EHR world.

Before I get into some thoughts, here’s how Mark describes a crocodile salesperson: “My favorite was when a guy told me to beware of Crocodile Salesmen. What’s that? ”You know, big mouth and no ears.””

I know I’ve been in some EHR sales presentations that were off the charts good at selling and demoing an EHR product. Based just on that sales presentation I could see how a physician would be very interested in buying that product. Everything went like clock works. They hit so many of the buzz points for doctors that make for a really compelling sell.

The problem comes that with half of the things that are said, in the back of my mind I’m thinking…and now let’s hear the rest of the story. Or the related…what about this, this and that nuance?

Don’t get me wrong. I think there are a lot of really good EHR salespeople who have the best interest of the physician at heart. Plus, there are a number of EHR companies that support this type of sales process. The challenge as I see it is helping the doctors to ask the right questions so they get the right information.

A crocodile salesperson, as described above, makes it a challenge for a physician and their practice to get the information they really need. In some cases you can see why an EHR salesperson exhibits the crocodile characteristics. Some of them just don’t have the in depth knowledge of their product to be able to veer off their sales demo script. They’ve nailed the sales demo, but fall apart when you veer into uncharted territory.

This is exactly why a doctor should make sure to take the EHR salesperson off script. You don’t have to be a jerk about it in the process. You just need to make sure that the sales presentation covers the points that you need covered. Do it in a polite and appropriate way and great EHR salespeople will be happy to go the direction you want to take the presentation. I know doctors time is limited, but it’s worth taking the extra time to get the right information. Ask any physician who’s switched EHR software if they’d wish they’d spent a little more time understanding their first EHR selection. I argue that it is the most important part of an EHR implementation.

My best suggestion to a doctor is to always consider how the EHR software being demonstrated will work in their office. Don’t get so caught up in the bells and whistles of what the product could eventually do in your office that you forget about how you’re going to do your regular tasks. Another common error is for physicians to be so rigid in their requests that they’re not open to any deviation from the processes they’ve used for the past years. No EHR will fit every physician workflow in every way. Consider whether you can see reasonable alternatives to your current processes.

If you want some other suggestions on asking good questions during your EHR sales demo, check out my e-Book on EHR selection. There’s a whole section of it devoted to the topic.

Selecting the right EHR is a hard thing to do. Getting the right information about an EHR and how it will work in your practice is critical. So, be sure to ask the right questions and don’t let crocodile salespeople waste your time and theirs. Make sure that they understand the specific needs of your practice before they start showing you how their EHR software solves those needs. You’ll both be better for it in the end.