Improved efficiency and patient safety, better cost containment and the desire to provide integrated healthcare are some of the major factors driving the growth of the European electronic medical record (EMR) markets. EMR offers healthcare providers the opportunity to better manage patient data, create reports and work in an integrated manner, resulting in reduced costs and superior care delivery.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (healthcareandlifesciencesIT.frost.com), European Electronic Medical Records Markets, reveals that these markets earned revenues of $349.6 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $1.15 billion in 2013.
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“Having accurate patient data plays a vital role in treating patients effectively, but this has always depended on maintaining comprehensive records of patients’ encounters with the medical system,” remarks Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Kiran John. “EMR provides healthcare professionals and nursing and administrative staff instant access to the right information from multiple points, and EMR data can be sourced, accessed, edited, appended and maintained effortlessly.”
The cost savings potential of EMR in both primary and hospital care is perhaps the most compelling factor driving its uptake, given that cost containment is a top priority for governments and providers alike. The time and costs associated with basic but essential activities such as creating and storing charts and employing adequate nursing and administrative staff for these purposes can be reduced significantly by adopting an EMR system.
However, considering the highly fragmented nature of the European EMR markets owing to Europe’s innate diversity and the varying levels of penetration of healthcare information technology (HIT), healthcare authorities are undertaking a standardisation drive in an attempt to provide better care delivery. Vendors with a European presence are particularly affected, as they need to customise or even re-invent their products and price them differently.
This has raised the question of creating unique patient identities, which many believe is critical to create a strong foundation on which EMR can be rolled out. There has been an ongoing debate about this issue and whether certification is really required for EMR solutions, and the answer will have a direct bearing on both technology adoption and solution creation.
“The need for unique patient identities is critical to the growth of any patient-centric healthcare information system but this must be initiated at a national level, which poses a significant challenge,” says Mr. John. “EMR solutions tend to significantly change the care delivery process, and this brings added challenges in the form of implementation and change management issues that implementers, providers, governments and users will need to tackle.”
However, the industry is expected to overcome these challenges as both primary and hospital care providers are fully aware of the benefits of EMR, which is clearly one of the most anticipated HIT solutions set to be extensively implemented across Europe. Despite the presence of restraining factors, there are many compelling drivers boosting the growth of the EMR markets at an annual rate exceeding 15.0 percent. The market holds an equally promising future for EMR vendors operating in the primary and hospital care sectors.
European Electronic Medical Records Markets is part of the Healthcare and Life Sciences IT Growth partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Healthcare IT Platforms, Patient Administration Systems in Europe, Clinical Decision Support Systems Markets in Europe, European Patient E-Booking and Healthcare Smart Cards Systems in Europe. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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