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2010: A Make or Break Year for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Vendors

Vendors will need to offer software as a service (SaaS) and speech recognition to be successful

(PresseBox) (Melbourne, ) bAccording to a new report from Ovum, the global analyst and consulting company, EHR vendors that are unable to capture a sizeable share of the market this year will be pushed out of an already competitive market. The report titled "2010 Trends to Watch: Healthcare Technology" highlights a number of global government initiatives on EHRs as well as the overall economic and consumer drivers that are driving healthcare providers to adopt IT, concluding that 2010 will be a pivotal year in EHR adoption.

As evidence, an earlier survey completed in late 2009, Datamonitor's Healthcare Business Trends Survey, where 150 hospitals in North American and Europe were asked to rank their top investment priorities in the next six months, is cited; EHRs were overwhelmingly the top priority for the coming year.

"Despite the barriers to adoptionhigh cost and change management issueswidespread adoption of EHRs will occur in 2010, particularly with the help of SaaS and speech recognition tools," according to healthcare technology analyst, Christine D. Chang, based in New York.

In the past, major barriers to EHR adoption included high upfront costs and lack of IT resources to implement and maintain the technology. A SaaS model solves both of these issues and Ovum believes it is the best approach for physician offices and small hospitals. With a predictable, monthly expense, a subscriptionbased SaaS EHR is a much easier cost for providers to swallow. Furthermore, as the EHR vendor hosts the solution, providers only need to worry about their internet connection.

For physicians who did not grow up with computers using a computer can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. In a fastpaced and time sensitive environment like a hospital or doctor's office, providers do not want to waste precious time in front of a computer when they could be in front of a patient. For many clinicians, speech recognition tools have helped increase EHR adoption by decreasing the number of changes providers need to make. Dictation is already a regular part of the physician's workflow. Speech recognition is even faster, as it feeds directly into the patient health record without the lag time of transcription. Even physicians who are comfortable using computers have found speech recognition helpful, as they are not only able to dictate notes, but can also navigate through the EHR quickly, jumping from screen to screen without clicking through multiple windows.

Thus, EHR vendors must incorporate SaaS and speech recognition into their product portfolio if they wish to take advantage of the market opportunity in 2010.

About the survey:

The survey "Datamonitor's Healthcare Business Trends Survey" involves 150 hospitals respondents (one respondent from each) in North American and Europe. They were asked to rank their top investment priorities in the next six months. This survey was conducted in July - August 2009 and analysed in September- October 2009.


Ovum's primary activity is providing valueadded advisory services and consulting to retained and project clients. The company acts as a wellrespected and trusted source of industry data, knowledge and expertise on the commercial impact of technology, regulatory and market changes. Ovum engages in continuous research and industry analysis to determine market dynamics in its specialist sectors.

Ovum has developed longstanding relationships with many of its corporate clients, which include major international bluechip companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, Cable & Wireless, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Telstra and Vodafone.