Electronic Medical Records Growing in Latin America

EMRs, or electronic medical records, are a wonderful tool for enhancing the organization and efficiency of health care worldwide. Research on the systems has shown that they boost revenue, enhance profitability, lower operational costs and reduce medical errors. Though they have near-universal adoption in the U.S. and most other western countries, they are now starting to gain a substantial foothold in Latin America, as well.

A Rising Trend

One only has to look at the numbers to see just how significant the growth of EMRs in Latin American markets has been in recent years, and how great the trend will continue to be in the years ahead. Overall, GHI’s research indicates that 40% of hospitals in Latin America had an EMR solution in place in 2017, compared to 36% in 2016. A report from Research and Markets indicates that the Latin American EMR market is forecast to grow at a rate of 7.15% between the years 2014 and 2019. And the market is strong across the region. For example:

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  • Brazil made a multi-million dollar investment in late 2016 in three supercomputers designed to unify all the government’s EMRs into a single system and it has set strict timelines for EMR adoption through 2020
  • Chile is the most advanced country in the region when it comes to EMR penetration, with 74%
  • Uruguay adopted a national EMR system in 2014 and has had a strong adoption, currently boasting a 63% EMR penetration rate in its healthcare facilities
  • Costa Rica has a 61% EMR penetration rate after approving a nationwide system in 2011.
  • Guatemala also has a higher than average EMR penetration rate, with 54%
  • Panama and Colombia respectively have a 50% EMR penetration rate
  • EMR penetration is at 42% in the Dominican Republic
  • Peru adopted its own national EMR system in 2015 and has an EMR penetration of 36%, just below the regional average
  • Mexico, one of Latin America’s early EMR adopters in 2004, now has rates between 25 and 50 percent for EMR in its primary and secondary care facilities; like Brazil, Mexico has set strict EMR adoption timelines through 2020
  • Bolivia (18%) and Argentina (17%) and a number of other countries in Latin America still have significant room to improve when it comes to EMR penetration in their hospitals and facilities

The Opportunity with EMRs in Latin America

There’s no question that electronic medical records in Latin America represent a major opportunity for manufacturers of the devices and equipment needed to implement these vital systems, particularly since the adoption of EMR systems will promote the expansion of PACS and RIS systems. Knowing the facilities where these systems have been adopted also help medical devices manufacturers in LatAm identify sales opportunities for their more sophisticated products that can complement these high-tech systems.

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However, not only is it an opportunity for major sales, but it’s also a chance to do some real good in a part of the world that has the most critical need to enhance the efficiencies in their health care system with EMRs.

Next Steps

The challenge, of course, is for EMR equipment manufacturers to identify the particular markets, regions and even specific hospitals and medical centers that have critical needs for their equipment. And perhaps the best tool for doing so is the LatAm hospital database provided by Global Health Intelligence. This comprehensive tool provides in-depth, highly specific information on the medical needs of hospitals and medical centers throughout the region.

Contact Global Health Intelligence today to see how you can get started on leveraging EMR growth in Latin America.

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