According to a new market research report titled Ambulatory EHR Market by Delivery Mode (Cloud-based, On-premise), Practice Size (Large, Small-to-Medium, Solo), Application (Patient Portals, Practice Management, CDS, Computerized Physician Order Entry, PHM), and End User - Global Forecast to 2028’ published by Meticulous Research®, the ambulatory EHR market is expected to reach $6.74 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2021 to 2028.

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An ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) is a software program designed specifically for use in outpatient care settings and small practices. Ambulatory EHRs help physicians easily track a patient’s medical history and treatment, enabling them to better diagnose and effectively treat chronic illnesses. Patients’ full medical histories, which are preserved in an electronic archive, can be accessed by medical professionals. These reports include all records of operations or treatments that do not require hospitalization. Physicians can monitor a patient’s medical history and provide long-term care more easily using ambulatory EHR systems. Physicians use this software to gather detailed, relevant information about every patient, creating comprehensive databases of their personal health records. These extensive databases help doctors gain a better understanding of patients’ health, thereby simplifying diagnosis.

Growing government support for the adoption of EHR solutions, patients’ increasing preference for ambulatory care over in-patient care, and the rising need to reduce operating costs in the healthcare industry are key factors driving the growth of the ambulatory EHR market. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies and the changing technological landscape in developing countries are expected to offer significant growth opportunities for the players operating in this market.

IT infrastructure constraints in developing countries and data security concerns are restraining the growth of this market. Additionally, high product replacement rates and the high cost of deploying ambulatory EHR solutions are expected to remain major challenges for market growth.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Ambulatory EHR Market

Countries worldwide took urgent steps to detect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 after the WHO declared it a global pandemic in March 2020. Hospital capacities around the globe were overburdened due to the sudden inflow of COVID-19 patients. There was a growing burden on acute care settings, with in-patient beds almost completely occupied. As a result, ambulatory care settings gained importance as an alternate site for treatment.

Governments of various countries proposed modifying policies to alleviate the pressure on overburdened hospitals. For instance, in March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided guidance allowing ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) to partner with local healthcare systems to provide hospital services. Elective and non-essential procedures were also suspended at the peak of the pandemic. Ambulatory surgical centers were, however, granted permission to perform outpatient procedures. Furthermore, the integration of healthcare IT solutions with ambulatory EHR solutions allowed physicians to gain a better understanding of their patients’ health, leading to more accurate diagnoses. In 2020, Oracle Corporation (U.S.) developed a National Electronic Health Records (EHR) Database and a suite of Public Health Management Applications to help U.S. public health departments and healthcare providers capture and interpret data related to COVID-19. Thus, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the increased burden on healthcare providers, drove the demand for EHR solutions, leading to the market’s growth.

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However, the implementation of new EHR systems was negatively impacted due to lockdown restrictions & social distancing protocols, and the diversion of healthcare budgets toward combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions and social distancing protocols were major challenges for sales and on-site implementation teams. Government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 delayed the marketing, sale, and implementation of ambulatory EHR solutions and also affected investments in healthcare IT solutions, negatively impacting the ambulatory EHR market.

The ambulatory EHR market is segmented on the basis of deployment mode, by type, practice size, application, end user, and geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyzes their market shares at the global and regional levels.

Based on deployment mode, the cloud/web-based segment accounted for the largest share of the market in 2020. Cloud/web-based solutions are gaining popularity worldwide as these solutions enable ambulatory centers to exchange and integrate data from multiple locations or systems in realtime. The advantages of cloud platforms, such as flexibility, real-time monitoring, data security, and lower implementation costs compared to on-premise deployment, drive the demand for these solutions.

Based on type, the all-in-one ambulatory EHR segment accounted for the largest share of the market in 2021. An all-in-one ambulatory EHR software is a pre-integrated software containing all EHR-related features. The ease of use, availability of all functionalities, and seamless software and hardware compatibility support the growth of this segment.

Based on practice size, the large practices segment accounted for the largest share of the market in 2021. Large practices are organizations with more than 50–100 physicians. It has been observed that the proportion of large practices is growing rapidly, while the proportion of smaller practices has dropped due to the rising consolidation of ambulatory centers. Smaller practices are disadvantaged in terms of health IT resources, while most small-to-medium-sized practices are expected to eventually join larger organizations. Thus, the rising number of large practices drives the growth of this segment.

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