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Health Industry Insights’ Study Reveals $3.7 Billion Increase in IT Spending for Electronic Health Record Market


IDC Research Firm Releases Series of Reports on EHR Market, Definitions and Trends

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., July 20, 2006 – In a report published today by IDC’s Health Industry Insights, the research and advisory firm forecasts total information technology (IT) spending for the electronic health record (EHR) market in the United States to increase to $4.8 billion in 2015. The study reveals a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8% in the EHR market over the next ten years, with current spending in that market estimated at $1.1 billion in 2005.

“We’re seeing a renewed interest and investment in healthcare IT, sparked by President Bush’s federal mandate to create electronic medical records for Americans by 2014 and re-ignited earlier this week by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology’s (CCHIT) product certification announcement,” says Lynne Dunbrack, program director of Payer Research at Health Industry Insights, and lead author of the report. “All of this is helping to create a new tipping point for EHRs and lots of opportunity in this space.”

In addition to forecasting the total EHR market, Dunbrack projects total market share for two sub-segments of healthcare – payers (including insurance and government) and providers (namely hospitals, clinics and physician practices). Adds Dunbrack, “Payers will invest earlier in EHRs compared with providers because they currently have more digitized health information than other stakeholders in the health ecosystem.”

In her analysis, she also uncovers several key drivers for investment in EHRs, such as its role in improving patient safety, as well as identifies major barriers threatening fast adoption of the technology. The report, entitled U.S. Electronic Health Records 2005 – 2015 Spending Forecast and Analysis, is one of a series on this topic published this year by Health Industry Insights and available online at


Defining EMR vs. EHR

Health Industry Insights’ Lynne Dunbrack and Marc Holland take an in-depth look at the use of EHR and EMR terminology within the health industry and provide working definitions to help distinguish between the two terms. “There is a pervasive misunderstanding and misuse of these two terms in the health industry, even among industry experts, confounding an already complex topic,” write the co-authors.

While the two systems are interrelated, Dunbrack and Holland provide specific definitions of each to show they are not interchangeable terms. One major differentiation, according to the report, is that an EMR is owned and maintained by a single provider organization, whereas an EHR summarizes clinical data from multiple provider organizations’ EMR systems. The co-authors go on to point out more differentiations in their definitions, as well as provide a comprehensive analysis of architectural components and an overview of the past and present state of these technologies.

The report, Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records Defined (Doc # HI202322), is available at

What Role Should Payers Play to Promote EHR Adoption?

The 2005 hurricane season served as a major catalyst for the development of payer-based health records (PBHRs). Continuing its coverage on today’s hot EHR market trend, Health Industry Insights examines how payers can use these PBHRs as a stepping stone toward EMRs and EHRs. In this report, analyst Lynne Dunbrack also describes effective financial incentives to encourage technology adoption, and the role of payers in encouraging collaboration to facilitate clinical data exchange. What Role Should Payers Play to Promote EHR Adoption? (Doc # HI202323) is available at

About Health Industry Insights, an IDC company

Health Industry Insights, an IDC company, provides health industry executives with research-based advisory and consulting services that enable healthcare and life science executives to maximize the business value of their technology investments minimize technology risk through accurate planning; benchmark themselves against industry peers; adopt industry best practices for business/technology alignment; make more informed technology decisions; and drive technology-enabled business innovation. Health Industry Insights provides full coverage of the health industry value chain and closely follows the payer, provider and life science segments, with special emphasis on developing and employing strategies that leverage IT investments to maximize organizational performance. Staffed by senior analysts with significant technology experience in the health care industry, Health Industry Insights provides a portfolio of offerings that are relevant to both IT and business needs. Visit for more information.


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