The healthcare IT landscape is witnessing rapid transformation as governments focus more on value-based care and preventive health programs to reduce the overall economic burden on health systems, along with increased efficiency in managing increasing patient populations. The basic Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is evolving into a more comprehensive Electronic Health Record (EHR). The EMR, which primarily records and stores the summary of every physician-patient encounter, is becoming a longitudinal and comprehensive record that stores information from various sources, such as portals, wearables, and devices. This EHR, along with interoperability frameworks, cloud computing, data analytics, and security solutions, forms the basic architecture of upcoming healthcare concepts, such as population health management, care coordination, and patient engagement.
Healthcare authorities and governments across Europe have gradually come to terms that EHR is imperative for achieving value-based care and implementation is not a one-time process and requires a continuously evolving strategy to keep pace with market developments. Initiatives by government and regional healthcare authorities for paperless documentation are favoring the adoption of EHR across Europe, which is further augmented by Europe’s eHealth policies and digital agenda. As a result, the current EHR strategy in Europe is more collaborative and focused on integrated care with specific attention given to interoperability and cross-border healthcare. The key competencies of global companies trying to gain a foothold in Europe are scalable solutions and several years of experience in a variety of healthcare IT applications.
Europe-based vendors benefit from an in-depth understanding of cultural, regulatory, and operational aspects of the regional market on which they are focused. Until now, failure of healthcare IT initiatives, slipping timelines to execution, and revamping of contracts have resulted in EHR vendors updating their market strategies in Europe. However, their focus on data security, data analytics, chronic disease management, personalized care, and clinical decision support will drive stronger uptake among hospitals and health systems.
The rapid care transformation and digitization comes with a paradigm shift in the entire care and tech ecosystem. Business models and strategies of participants are undergoing a change, and new participants are emerging. It is imperative to stay abreast with these changes.
This study focuses on clearing the air around the usage of the terms EHR and EMR and provides an insight into the maturity of EMR and the readiness of European countries to adopt a more comprehensive EHR. Growth opportunities for various healthcare stakeholders that can arise from the evolution of the EHR have also been highlighted.