Healthcare providers are doubling down on their efforts to digitise by hiring for an increasingly higher concentration of roles related to electronic medical record (EMR) systems, according to figures from GlobalData. 

As many as 9.4% of newly advertised roles across more than 900 companies worldwide were linked to EMR systems in September this year, up from 7.7% in the same month of 2020 and from 5.5% in January 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the western world. 

This figure dropped slightly to 9.2% in October 2021 but the general upward trend is clear, with the switch to digitally held medical records clearly being accelerated by the pandemic. 

Due to legislation introduced in 2016, the US is ahead of many countries when it comes to EMR adoption, with GlobalData estimates showing that more than 90% of US hospital providers had adopted the technology by 2019. This is reflected in the data with the majority of EMR job adverts being for positions located in the United States. 

Electronic medical record area ripe for disruption 

While EMR systems are part of a wider movement to allow patients better access to their healthcare records, they can also be of benefit to healthcare provider organisations in other ways. 

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According to GlobalData’s Virtual Care and Telemedicine in Healthcare report for 2021 “the data stored in EMRs can also be leveraged to support revenue cycle management, population health management, and cost containment measures among many other uses. Through leveraging patient data to its fullest, providers can increase their reimbursement, lower costs, reduce administrative burden, and eliminate redundant care.” 

EMR systems have been identified by GlobalData as a key challenge facing the healthcare sector over the coming years, and an area that is ripe for disruption with cloud technologies lowering the cost barrier for smaller healthcare providers. 

GlobalData’s report highlights healthtech companies such as DrChrono and Greenway Health as being disruptors in the EMR sector for this reason. 

The jobs data analysis also reveals a shift within the industry to digitalisation more broadly, with 2.8% of new job advertisements linked to this theme in October 2021 compared to 1.4% a year earlier. 

Healthtech roles outnumbered those linked to digitalisation but the concentration of these roles has remained relatively flat throughout the pandemic.

After EMR, healthtech and digitalisation, big data roles were the next most commonly sought by healthcare providers last month.