D'Arcy Gue

EMR Vendor Interest Exploration

August 21, 2014

Healthcare Industry, Healthcare IT 3 Minute Read

Recent announcements related to EMR vendors have me wondering about the popularity and overall volume of interest different vendors receive online. Most notably, the Cerner acquisition of Siemens — which has received extensive press attention — made me curious about the actual impact such health care vendor announcements have on consumers from an informational perspective. Do they care? Does it influence their purchase behavior?

As a writer and marketer, Google is one of my primary resources (Ironically, it’s also a company that has acquired over 160 companies — for which it gets plenty of attention). For this exploration of the health care space, I turned to the Google Trends tool to examine the level of interest in these vendors over the past two years. This tool provides and compares estimated interest for search terms.

I compared four of the primary EMR vendors —

  • McKesson
  • Cerner
  • Meditech
  • Siemens Healthcare

I intended to, but, unfortunately was unable to include Epic in this comparison. Turns out, “Epic” is a really common term that receives significant interest. The bloated interest made the results of this informal research project glaringly skewed.

Here’s what I found.


When looking only at these four vendors, McKesson takes the cake in level of interest, commanding 37 points more than the second most popular vendor, Cerner. The breakdown is as follows:

  • McKesson: Interest Score = 80
  • Cerner: Interest Score = 43
  • Meditech: Interest Score = 17
  • Siemens: Interest Score = 3

Note: Scores represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart.

This high level of interest in McKesson caught my attention — it doesn’t align with what I know of EMR vendor use. According to a KLAS report, Cerner, Meditech, and Epic were the only EMR vendors to increase their market share in 2013. However, neither Cerner or Meditech lead in level of online interest.

To dig a little deeper I decided to look at market share data. According to HIMSS Analytics, the breakdown of the vendor market share looks like this:

EMR Market Share

When I look at actual vendor saturation for EMR products, McKesson comes in third. The discrepancy between interest and product use was puzzling. I decided to perform one more analysis — I compared the market share of each of these vendors against the average volume of search queries performed per month. What I found were even more clearly opposing results — vendors with the highest level of average monthly searches have the lowest market share and vice versa.

interest vs market share EMR

So What?

Level of Online Interest ≠ EMR Market Share 

It appears that the level of online interest in a vendor does not indicate actual use of their products. There could be several contributors to the high percent of average monthly searches for the less used vendors.

  • Difficulty using a vendor’s products, so searches are performed seeking assistance
  • Non-product related news. Ex: Cerner’s acquisition of Siemens
  • Broad range of products. Ex: McKesson has a variety of products, so they receive a large volume of interest online, but don’t hold a large share of the EMR market

This leads me to believe that while Cerner will increase their market share by acquiring Siemens’ existing customers, the attention and level of online interest expressed for Siemens will have no impact on Cerner’s market share.


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