Allscripts, a large US provider of physician office EMR system, and Eclipsys, a provider of EMR systems for acute care facilities, have agreed to merge according a press release. Mark and I have speculated that Eclipsys was an acquisition target, though we thought that companies such as Microsoft or Oracle might use acquire Eclipsys to bolster their presence in the health market.
The Allscripts / Eclipsys marriage signals, I believe, the importance of a single EMR platform for providers across the continuum of care, from individual physicians to large acute care facilities. Will we see a similar acquisition strategy in Canada? I have long wondered when Telus Health will enter the physician office EMR market, for example. They already offer broad array of eHealth / health IT solutions in the Canadian market and their lack of EMR offering is a glaring hole in the product line-up in my view. Given that they already have a sales force aimed at small / medium sized business and they are already pitching mobile solutions to physicians, I would think that it would not be much of a stretch to sell EMRs to physicians.
Another thought … will Allscripts use the Eclipsys acquisition to enter the Canadian market? Some people might argue that they have their hands full addressing the demand created by EHR funding in the US. Perhaps. Then again, as one of the largest physician office EMR vendors in the US, they might just have the werewithal to consider the Canadian market.