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Emergency Department Information Systems Market Fueled By Growing Patient Flow

Posted on March 20, 2017 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare editor and analyst with 25 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. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

A new research report has concluded that the size of the emergency department information systems market is expanding, driven by increasing patient flows. This dovetails with a report focused on 2016 data which also sees EDIS upgrades underway, though it points out that some hospital buyers don’t have the management support or a large enough budget to support the upgrade.

The more recent report, by Transparency Market Research, notes that ED traffic is being boosted by increases in the geriatric population, an increasing rate of accidents and overall population growth. In part to cope with this increase in patient flow, emergency departments are beginning to choose specialized, best-of-breed EDISs rather than less-differentiated electronic medical records systems, Transparency concludes.

Its analysis is supported by Black Book Research, whose 2016 report found that 69% of hospitals upgrading their existing EDIS are moving from enterprise EMR emergency models to freestanding platforms. Meanwhile, growing spending on healthcare and healthcare infrastructure is making the funds available to purchase EDIS platforms.

These factors are helping to fuel the emergence of robust EDIS market growth, according to Black Book. Its 2016 research, predicted that 35% of hospitals over 150 beds would replace their EDIS that year. Spurred by this spending, the US EDIS market should hit $420M, Black Book projects.

The most-popular EDIS features identified by Black Book include ease of use, reporting improvements, interoperability, physician productivity improvements, diagnosis enhancements and patient satisfaction, its research concluded.

All that being said, not all hospital leaders are well-informed about EDIS implementation and usability, which is holding growth back in some sectors. Also, high costs pose a barrier to adoption of these systems, according to Transparency.

Not only that, some hospital leaders don’t feel that it’s necessary to invest in an EDIS in addition to their enterprise EMR,. Black Book found. Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the 2016 study said that they were moderately or highly dissatisfied with their current EDIS, but 90% of the dissatisfied said they were being forced to rely on generic hospital-wide EMRs.

While all of this is interesting, it’s worth noting that EDIS investment is far from the biggest concern for hospital IT departments. According to a HIMSS survey on 2017 hospitals’ IT plans, top investment priorities include pharmacy technologies and EMR components.

Still, it appears that considering EDIS enhancements may be worth the trouble. For example, seventy-six percent of Black Book respondents implementing a replacement EDIS in Q2 2014 to Q1 2015 saw improved customer service outcomes attributed to the platform.

Also, 44% of hospitals over 200 beds implementing a replacement EDIS over the same period said that it reduced visit costs between 4% and 12%, the research firm found.

Applying EHR Technology to Bad Hospital Processes

Posted on June 19, 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’ve written many times on EMR and HIPAA about the need to fix the internal workings of your practice before you implement an EHR. The problem being that technology like an EHR work like a great magnifier of any problems with your practice. Something that you may not have noticed as an issue in the paper world can often become a major problem in the EHR world. Not because the problem shouldn’t have been fixed in the paper world, but because you didn’t realize it was a problem.

The core point being, “EHR Technology doesn’t solve bad processes.”

With that as background, I started to think about this from a hospital perspective. Yes, in a small practice it’s much easier to evaluate the relatively simple workflows and dramatically improve them. The same thing is MUCH harder in the incredibly complex hospital world.

In the hospital environment, I expect there are always processes that need improvement. Plus, in many cases the health system is so hardened into its current practices that changing those workflows is almost impossible. This workflow hardening means that hospital EHR vendors are often beholden to old, outdated processes and workflows.

Related to this problem is the view that many hospital EHR vendors (Epic being famous for this) hold about implementing one system across the entire hospital. While you can certainly see advantages to one system, I think a major downfall is that it often means that workflow improvement is much harder.

Those ED EHR vendors have certainly seen this first hand. Imagine how much time and focus a one size fits all hospital EHR spends on an ED EHR module versus an ED EHR vendor that only does ED EHR software. Which of those do you think has a better chance of helping an ED get to the optimal ED EHR workflow? The answer is obvious. Now extrapolate this same concept to the thousands of other workflows that exist in a hospital.

We’re more likely to see hospital innovation from a number of scrappy highly focused startup companies than we are from large hospital EHR vendors. Although, the smartest hospital EHR vendors will realize this and will open themselves up to scrappy highly focused startup companies to iterate on top of their hospital EHR platform. Too bad far too many are focused on putting up walls as opposed to creating highways.