The U.S. healthcare information technology (IT) market is growing rapidly, according to reports from Medical Strategic Planning (MSP; Lincroft, New Jersey) and Dorenfest & Associates (Chicago, Illinois). MSP's president is Arthur Gasch, who covers the healthcare IT sector for The BBI Newsletter, including the accompanying article covering this year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting.

Dorenfest reports the U.S. market was in excess of $23.6 billion in 2003, up from $21.6 billion in 2002, a 9.3% growth. MSP also reports expansion, but based on software licenses or "seats," which is the "unit sold" component of the revenue figure. MSP's data is obtained from surveying individual practices and taking into account the aging and penetration of the market for various types of products.

The great variation in average selling prices of the hundreds of vendors in the market from deal to deal makes setting an accurate revenue figure less certain; and all revenue figures cited by any source are at best gross estimates of the actual market size. Estimates are that IT spending will continue to grow over the next few years, crossing the $30 billion mark by 2006.

Medical Strategic Planning maintains an annually updated database of up to 20,000 physician group practices' EHR and practice management systems (PMS) and hospital-based clinical EHR systems, which is complemented by Dorenfest's annual survey of hospital and integrated delivery network PMS and administrative systems. The MSP survey contains practice-by-practice purchasing intentions in addition to information on deployed PMS and EHR systems. It also contains objections inhibiting the implementation of EHRs for those practices that have not yet adopted such solutions.