I always know when a technology has really gone mainstream when I see it for sale in my local Shopper’s Drug Mart. I still remember this past Christmas walking to the cash register and seeing a pile of HDTV’s for sale. I remember thinking “Uh oh, this development is going to impact the major TV vendors”. Sure enough we are seeing major TV manufacturers dropping product lines or even exiting the TV business altogether, citing shrinking margins as the reason for doing so.
Recently an article caught my eye that made me wonder if we are about to witness a similar shift in the EMR market. (http://trusted.md/blog/mikeryan/2009/03/15/walmart_connecting_doctors_capitalizing_on_emr_stimulus. ). Wal-mart, agruably one of the world’s most aggressive retailers, is now selling EMRs through their Sam’s Club subsidiary. The article quotes Dr. David Brailer, former “Health Information Czar” in the United states as saying “If Wal-Mart is successful, this could be a game-changer.”
Mark, what do you think? Will this approach work? What impact, if any, do you think that Wal-mart’s entry into the market as a distribution channel will have on the market? Could one of the EMR vendors shut out of the provincial EMR funding arrangements try a similar approach to stay in the game?