eHealth Market Consolidation Continues

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.


4 responses to “eHealth Market Consolidation Continues

  1. An interesting match up. What intrigues me is that the combined company will have real products and expertise across the continuum of care. Most if not all the traditional “big players” in the North American eHealth market, were either in primary or in acute. It will be interesting to see if they can successfully match corporate cultures. Conventional wisdom says that selling to primary care is an SME play and selling to acute is an enterprise sell. Two very different kinds of customers. I just hope they can figure out a way to meld the two cultures/approaches to a single one that works for both kinds of customers.

    I’m not so sure how much this will impact in Canada, as Allscripts has little to no presence and Eclipsys has limited market share in acute. What will be interesting to see is if this merger will guide the thinking of the existing “big players” to mimic an across the continuum of care play in Canada.


  2. Mark, I beg differ re: the Eclipsys footprint in Canada:

    – Eclipsys is the CIS for the former Atlantic Health Sciences in NB. I believe that we may see an increased Eclipsys presence in NB as the form AHS CIO, Derrick Jardine, is now the CIO for FacilCorpNB, the new shared services organization in NB.

    – Eclipsys is the basis for the CIS in larger hospitals in NB

    – Eclipsys is the basis for the CIS in some Ontario hospitals including CHEO in Ottawa.

    – Eclipsys has a presence in SK as I recall.

    – Eclipsys was used by the former Capital Health and Calgary Health regions in AB.

    So, while Eclipsys has a smaller footprint than Meditech and Cerner, they are still a significant player in the Canadian market.


  3. Interesting times in e-health, I must say. While a single EMR platform across the continuum of care may be desirable, physician offices are fiercely independent and like to make their own decisions regarding technology to run their practices.

    We believe that offering best-of-breed EMR applications through our new consumer e-health service, TELUS health space, will give physicians a variety of options to choose from, and their patients the ability to collaborate more efficiently and effectively with them.

    Perhaps, once the merger has been completed, the new entity will join our ecosystem of EMR application providers to take advantage of ready access to the Canadian market.


  4. Janice,
    I wasn’t suggesting that there be a single EMR for all physicians. I believe in physician choice and would rather see government set standards and get out of the way. I do believe that we will see established HIT vendors increasingly offer a suite a products across the continuum of care. There are many reasons that they will do, including:

    – Organizations such as Regional Health Authorities operate primary care facilities such as Community Health Centres and will want these facilities to use the same EMR as the hospitals, long term care facilities, etc operated by the Regional Health Authority

    – The vendors will gain economies of scale since there are many common functions in the EMRs used across the continuum of care. As margins get squeezed, economies of scale will be increasingly important.

    – Mainstream physicians will be more comfortable dealing with what they perceive to be known, financially stable vendors. Their buying decisions will be different from the early adopter / early mainstream physicians who have been the predominant purchasers to date.


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