Pretzel Logic: EHR Musical Chairs
As EHR use grows across the market, we see the replacement market starting to grow, too. Depending on whom you believe, the EHR replacement market could range from 40 to 80-plus percent of existing users. (The latter seems like a stretch, but to paraphrase John Maynard Keynes, in the long run we’re all dead, which I suppose applies to EHRs as well as people.) There is obviously a large and looming replacement market in front of us, and one characteristic that separates replacement customers from first-time buyers is that they are more seasoned (embittered?) and are usually adamant about not repeating the youthful indiscretions of their past.
Until recently, it’s been hard to find hard industry data on trends like EHR replacement. There are plenty of places to go for advice on how to manage EHR replacements, but the pickings are pretty sparse (OK, barren) when it comes to real data on the buying behavior of seasoned EHR users. It’s worth noting that the one thing the Meaningful Use program has given us is better industry data than we’ve ever had before. Jamie Stockton’s excellent analyst reports for Wells Fargo Securities offer some really fresh insights on industry dynamics using CMS data (a testament to the benefits of opendata.gov and crowd-sourcing). A professor of mine used to say that there is no Geneva Convention for data, and it’s fair to say that Jamie and his colleagues have sadistically extracted a lot of confessions from the CMS Public Use Files on MU attestation.
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