2018 EHR Stats That Might Surprise You: AI, Blockchain, CRM, and More

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From blockchain to artificial intelligence, new technologies are impacting the way we build and use EHRs.

Whether you’re looking for a new EHR in 2018, or know that you’ll need to consider replacing yours in the near future, here’s a quick rundown of recent stats that show what’s new in the EHR space along with links to resources on how smart healthcare delivery organizations can prepare.

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Healthcare spending stats

Healthcare spending is up:

But hospitals are still getting squeezed:

  • According to a 2017 Moody’s report, yearly operating expenses for the not-for-profit and public hospital sector grew 7.5% between 2015 and 2016, but annual operating revenue only grew 6.6%.
  • A recent Health Affairs analysis predicts that between 2015 and 2030, MACRA may result in a decrease in Medicare spending on physician services by 2.3% to 7.1% ($35 billion to $106 billion).

How to prepare

One source of increased operational costs for HDOs is the ever-expanding complexity of medical billing. In the U.S., a full quarter of U.S. hospital spending is on administration.

By contrast, England and Canada allocate 16% and 12%, respectively, to administrative costs.

Hospital administration cost infographic (Source)

Consider investing in computer assisted coding software, or buying medical billing software with integrated CAC. CAC reduces manual input, saving time and minimizing errors. This saves you money both ways, as your coders are more productive and you have fewer rejected claims to deal with.

By 2022, the global market for computer assisted coding software is projected to reach $4.75 billion.

Learn more: “Medical Billing and Coding Trends for 2018

EHR spending stats

Many HDOs are looking more closely at their EHRs/EMRs. As a major investment for most hospital informatics departments, it has an outsized influence on a HDO’s bottom line.

In fact, in the the 2018 Gartner CIO survey (Market Trends: Five Healthcare Provider Trends for 2018) CIOs report that their EMRs are the single most important factor with which to differentiate and win (full Gartner research available to clients).

CIOs report the single most important factor with which to differentiate and win (Source)

Healthcare CIOs report their highest priorities for new spending (Source)

How to prepare

Check out “How to Buy the Right Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software” to learn what questions you need to ask yourself and your vendor when shopping for a new EMR, so you can ensure that your software purchase meets all your needs and you get the most out of your purchase.

EHR interoperability stats

There’s tremendous power in combining large sets of electronic medical records with public databases.

Researchers in California recently discovered, using public health informatics, that a drug that kills parasitic worms may combat liver cancer. They’ve also been able to rapidly predict which other drugs might treat cancer. Last year, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg funded the project to the tune of $10 million.

These researchers are part of a joint effort to integrate EHR data between five University of California health systems, which together have more than 15 million patient records, the largest collection among academic health centers to date.

How to prepare

Learn more about public health informatics predictions for 2018 for an overview of PHI and how health systems are using it to improve public health. Then check out “The 5 Must-Have EHR Features to Save Time and Improve Care” for an introduction to which features are must haves when buying a new EHR.

EHR and blockchain stats

The healthcare blockchain is still an emerging technology.

Blockchain is one of the top ten most-searched topics by Gartner clients. But while it made it into my “Medical Billing and Coding Trends for 2018” and “Public Health Informatics Predictions for 2018,” fewer than five percent of healthcare provider CIOs and only 12% in the payer industry have blockchain in their written business plans (research available to Gartner clients). And even fewer have actually funded blockchain projects.

How to prepare

Check out “Why Blockchain Could Transform the Very Nature of EHRs” to learn how other HDOs are using blockchain to improve operations, security, and patient outcomes. “Medical Billing and Coding Trends for 2018” will take you through how HDOs are improving the accuracy and efficiency of their billing processes in 2018.

EHR and healthcare CRM stats

For about ten percent of HDOs, integrating CRM systems with EHR systems will have a strong impact on their bottom line through 2020 (Gartner Hype Cycle for Healthcare Providers, 2017—research available to Gartner clients).

Expect this number to increase over time, as smart HDOs begin to create complete pictures of their patients/customers that allow them to provide better service. Integrated systems help HDOs create this more complete picture of the customer by combining patient charts with patient scheduling, check-in/check-out and admitting/discharge/transfer information.

How to prepare

Medical practice management software has some features of CRM software but is tailored for a medical context. It’s one way to combine patient charts with patient scheduling, check-in/check-out and admitting/discharge/transfer information without a CRM.

To learn more about this kind of software check out “The Dos And Don’ts of Buying Medical Practice Management Software,” “A Prescription for Buying Medical Practice Management Software,” and “What is Medical Practice Management Software?

Find software to help you stay on top of the trends

Whether you’re looking for a new EHR or related software, including medical practice management software, CRM, or medical billing software, Capterra’s directories can help.

Follow the links to compare your options side-by-side and narrow down your choices according to the features you need. You can also read reviews by users to find out which systems are intuitive to use and which have great, and not-so-great customer service.

Looking for Medical Practice Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Medical Practice Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a former Capterra analyst.

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