Written by: John Lynn
Medical Economics put out a list that it’s just irresistible to those of us in healthcare IT. It’s a list of the Top 100 EHR vendors by revenue. I know that this is irresistible, because I did a post on EMR Thoughts back in 2011 listing the Top 100 Healthcare IT Companies by Revenue and still today it’s the top visited post on that site. Plus, when I saw the headline I couldn’t resist checking out the list myself.
While we all have to look when we see something like it, I think we need to be careful looking at these lists. They are filled with errors since the sources for such information aren’t that reliable. Not to mention there are a lot of ways to count revenue when you’re as large as these organizations. So, they can mislead you as much as lead you.
In fact, I know of a number of errors myself in the list. Although, the one that made me laugh the most was when I saw Meditech listed at 55. I literally openly laughed out loud that whoever created the list didn’t have enough common sense to know that it couldn’t be the case. Then, I took a second look at Meditech at 55 and realized that even the data in the chart shows that it shouldn’t be 55th on the list, but should be 4th on the list. They have them ranked based on $4.9 million in revenue instead of the $490 million which is listed. Those pesky decimals. I’ll have to give them my son’s 4th grade homework on decimals.
Of course, any of us could make that type of mistake. Stuff happens when you’re compiling a lot of data. Considering the way the page seems to be coded (manually I believe), I feel bad for whoever will have to adjust the list.
Another change they need to make is the acquisition of Greenway by Vitera. It looks like the combined entities would move them to 6th on the list and possibly higher.
Of course, the real question is whether any of this really matters. It’s great fodder for discussion. I have made the argument in the past that it’s important to understand the long term financial viability of the EHR organization you choose. However, revenue is just one of the measures of a company’s long term viability. There have been plenty of hundred million dollar companies who have failed. It’s about costs and revenue, not just revenues. Not to mention as the EHR industry consolidates, many of these companies are going to sunset their EHR product after they merge. So, is buying from a large EHR vendor any less risky than buying from a smaller EHR vendor?
As someone who lives, eats, and breathes EHR every day, this is fun for me to look at, but I don’t think it has much impact.