The increasing preference for healthcare information technologies (HCITs) has led to the widescale adoption of ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) systems, globally. HCITs facilitate the secure exchange of health information between consumers, payers, and providers and enable the management of health information across all computer systems. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), office-based physicians, pediatricians, and gynecologists/obstetricians in the country are the largest users of HCITs. This has further stimulated the adoption of ambulatory EHR systems in the country.
The integration of ambulatory EHR systems helps in reducing the overall medical expenses, while maintaining the quality of healthcare. Healthcare organizations are introducing EHR systems in their out-patient departments (OPD) to reduce their operational costs. Both hospital-owned ambulatory centers and independent centers are the key users of this advanced system. Currently, hospital-owned ambulatory centers are the primary users of EHR systems due to their vast patient base on account of the high prevalence of chronic diseases.
Both these types of ambulatory settings use EHR systems for e-prescribing, practice patient, population health management, health analytics, patient management, decision support, and referral management. Medical professionals are increasingly adopting these systems for providing e-prescriptions, owing to the surging government initiatives. Healthcare professionals procure such EHR solutions through on-premises and cloud-based models. Presently, they are increasingly deploying cloud-based solutions as they are available at a lower cost than the on-premises solutions. Besides, the surging requirement for gaining secure remote access to patients’ health records among healthcare providers and insurance companies will boost the adoption of cloud-based EHR solutions, globally.
The advent of cloud-based EHR solutions has secured the data and made it fully accessible, irrespective of the network traffic or time. These solutions are automatically updated and require fewer IT resources and less space and capital investment. These benefits result in immense cost savings for clinics, without the devotion of extra time and deployment of additional staff to manage the bulky hardware. The integration of cloud-based EHR is also simpler, as it operates on the web and not on the user’s computer, thereby eradicating the need for dedicated software and hardware.
In the coming years, the Asia-Pacific ambulatory EHR market will exhibit the fastest growth, due to the huge investments being made in EHR systems by non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private companies and surging geriatric population. Moreover, the rising incidence of chronic illnesses in the highly populated nations of India and China will fuel the adoption of ambulatory EHR systems in the foreseeable future. For instance, the Government of India has introduced various initiatives under its Digital India plan to implement EHR in telemedicine and e-Health.
Thus, the increasing penetration of HCITs and cloud platforms will fuel the integration of EHR systems in ambulatory centers in the coming years.