NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Depending on the news one reads, this was either an unfavorable month for the 25 billion-dollar electronic medical records (EMR) industry, or it was its finest hour. This according to Kalorama Information, a market research firm that publishes an annual assessment of the industry. The industry demonstrated its prowess in dealing with a community medical issue that would have been failed by paper records, but also had some negative publicity on IT security. Kalorama Information's most recent report , EMR 2015: The Market for Electronic Medical Records, can be found at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=88375&productid=8917410.
First, this month brought news that the lead poisoning water crisis in Flint, Michigan was discovered as the result of searches conducted using data from an Epic EMR system (story: http://www.fierceemr.com/story/flint-michigan-kudos-ehr/2016-02-03.) The key physician involved in the case, pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, quickly reviewed the EHRs of the children whose blood had been tested at the hospital. According to news accounts and the statement of the physician that discovered a problem in Flint, paper records would not have leant themselves to the kind of research needed to detect patterns if only paper was available.
"The side benefit of EMR conversion, aside from cost savings, is that practice would improve and providers, academics and governments could obtain better epidemiological information," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "The visibility of the Flint Michigan story provides a real-world example of the benefits oft-stated during the conversion and incentive campaign."
At the same time, recent incidents of medical information being held hostage by hackers, with the most notable being an incident at the Hollywood Presbyterian, have spotlighted fears of record conversion. In the most recent incident the California hospital paid $17,000 to rescue its information from hackers, have spotlighted information security. Hollywood Presbyterian was using a major vendor EMR system. Because the initial ransom demand was in billions, the story went national. This incident at a time when many physicians and hospitals are converting to electronic records and the Federal government has driven conversion was obviously not a postiive development.
"Still, 3 out of 4 US hospitals have a basic EMR system and most EMRs are being used without incident," Carlson said. "ransomware attacks are not limited by any means to EMR or healthcare facilities as corporations and even police departments have suffered attacks. "
Kalorama notes that there are questions about the role of the actual EMR software in the Hollywood Presbyterian case, as to whether the hospital properly encrypted information, whether staff was properly trained in anti-phishing techniques, whether EMR use audits were conducted, and if anyone was designated as chief security officer there. Such services and consulting offer opportunities for the industry, which has always been as much of a service industry as a software one. As indicated the actual damages of ransomware attacks have so far been minimal.
Kalorama sees continued growth in the EMR market. A big focus is going to be in conversion and upgrading of EMR systems. Kalorama Information's EMR 2015: The Market for Electronic Medical Records contains detailed market estimates and forecasts for different segments of the industry. The report can be found at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=88375&productid=8917410.
About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama's website and are also available on www.marketresearch.com and www.profound.com.
We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog at www.kaloramainformation.com.
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SOURCE Kalorama Information