Prepare for the Failure of Many EHR Vendors

Posted on April 16, 2009 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.

Just sitting back and taking a look at the current EHR and EMR market, I have a strong feeling that we’re going to see a number of EHR vendors close up shop. Many of them may be disguised as purchases by bigger vendors who are trying to gain market share. Others will probably just close their doors completely and users of that EHR system will wonder why their support requests aren’t getting the response from their EHR vendor that they’re use to receiving.

I’ve talked previously about how EHR adoption will be slowed by the HITECH act. This slowing of EHR adoption is going to put a number of EHR vendors out of business. I have a feeling that far too many EHR vendors based their burn rate on their previous sales. Now that sales have slowed, they’re going to have to really fight to stay above water.

For those concerned, you might want to take a look back at my post on assessing your EHR vendor’s financial situation. Plus, I think it’s definitely worth taking a look at some contingency plans you have in case your EHR vendor does fail or get bought out.

The nice part of client-server based EHR systems is that you can usually keep using the EHR regardless of the financial viability of the EHR company itself. Granted, you’ll stop getting upgrades, but at least you can maintain the status quo. If you’re using an SAAS EHR, I’m not sure exactly what options you have available.

I should say that most EHR vendors won’t just shut their doors and leave. Most failing EHR companies will salvage what they can by selling to an EHR vendor that wants their customer base. However, when this happens, expect the new vendor to provide very light support for the purchased EHR software and a clear path to move to their software.

All of this said, I’m predicting a number of EHR companies to fail in the coming year.