EMR Install Base – According to Vendors

Posted on March 17, 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.

I was recently reading a post on EMRUpdate (great EMR Forum) by a man I highly respect who goes by CEOMike. In his long post, he made the following short analysis that I thought was really interesting:

I thought by now you would have figured out EMR vendors are LIARS, making some of the bankers look like choir boys. I have done other posts on the install base claims of vendors. Figure it out 4% (studies show) of approx 400,000 primary care docs is only about 16,000 EMRs in use. Divide that by the approximately 400 EMRs [see my list of over 400 EMR companies] that have been listed in the last three years = 40 users per EMR Or go at the other way – take all claims by EMR vendors and add them up (I did this exercise a few years back) and you get something like over a million doctors using EMRs???

The million EMR installs seems a little high, but the point is well made. How do we really get accurate data about install base? The answer is that you really can’t from most vendors.

When we first implemented our EMR, we were told that they had close to 100 college health centers. Little did they ask (I wasn’t there when they selected this particular EMR) how many of the 100 health centers actually used EMR versus just their practice management system. Let’s just say I was quite surprised by the reality.

That didn’t deter me. In fact, if anything it motivated me to make it happen. Still today I think our clinic is the most cutting edge in our category for use of EMR. I enjoy that feeling and I enjoy when other clinics want to come and take a look at what we’re doing. Yes, I am sure they want to see our EMR and not just have a trip to Las Vegas.