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Author's profile photo Jan Korten

SAP Any-EMR Partner Strategy – what is in it for customers, partners and SAP?

Past and Present

Where do we come from?

Tens of Thousands of doctors, nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals use “SAP” in their daily work – well at least they perceive it this way. Actually most of them – at least most of the time – also use a partner solution, based on SAP technology and completely embedded into SAP applications.

SAP long time ago decided – taking Healthcare very seriously! – not to step into developing clinical software on their own. The system (spelling changed over time but the name still refers to the underlying SAP “IS-H” aka SAP Patient Management) extended the SAP world, consisting of SAP ERP and SAP Patient Management, into the clinical world – for more than 25 years.

What happened?

Earlier in October SAP made public that they decided to leave development of patient accounting and administration – outside SAP also referred to as “successor of SAP Patient Management” – to partners, taking the same approach SAP follows for clinical applications since decades. Does this mean SAP does not take Healthcare seriously anymore, or “step out of the healthcare market”?

I don’t think so at all!

The world changed and SAP needs to adapt its approach – and these are the guiding thoughts:

  • There is no clear demand for a “one size fits all” EMR solution anymore: depending on regional requirements, size and focus of the organization and financial capabilities (often related to the local Healthcare system) Healthcare Provider Organizations will favor different Clinical Systems.
  • Importance of interoperability grew over the last decades (Healthcare IT is not the fastest mover) and now it is seen as commodity. Customers expect it and most vendors support.
  • There is no better way to meet customer demand than a huge, well designed and solid ecosystem of partners.

SAP believes that agility, flexibility and choice for customers are the guiding principles these days – and that’s why SAP is aiming to support hybrid, modular healthcare system landscapes. Michael Byczkowski explained in more detail in his IBU PoV Blog he wrote a couple of weeks ago.

Now we looked at what changed – what remains?

Leading ERP from SAP

Well, first of all SAP is confident that S/4 – in the tradition of very successful SAP ECC – is the solid cornerstone in any IT landscape of successful organizations.

Trusted Platform

Secondly SAP BTP is the modern foundation for all components complementing ERP processes into the area of healthcare specific processes.

These two components have been part of SAP’s roadmap for “next generation” healthcare IT and will now be SAP’S contribution to the modular healthcare IT-system of the future.


If we take a closer look there is already excellent choice – running the ERP of choice (from SAP, of course) with 3rd party solutions complementing it is a reality!

For many years there have been satisfied customers running SAP ERP either alone or including SAP Patient Management with other EMRs than the embedded one.  While there were good reasons to leverage benefits of a joint, tightly integrated solution there have been others for choosing a different setup. And SAP appreciated and happily supported those customer decisions.

Future Path: Welcome the Modular Hospital IT-System of the Future!

If it comes to Healthcare Applications SAP will intensify the focus on supporting partners to provide excellent choice – for the main areas EMR and patient billing and beyond.

And we have the first examples for these kind of solutions in the SAP Store! This will be the place where you can get an impression of SAP Industry Cloud for Healthcare – already started and for sure evolving over the time.

For our customers (and SAP) it will be crucial to prove the quality of integration – easy to adopt, rich in functional scope supported, and robust. The benchmark is known – SAP ECC with SAP Patient Management and Cerner

And don’t forget – these two extremely comprehensive solutions will remain important for a huge number of customers for a reassuring number of years, being the safe harbor for exploring what can be next.

SAP’s Any-EMR Strategy means facilitating industry standard interoperability – agnostic to EMR vendors and technology – to leverage SAP as core of the modular hospital information system to provide best class ERP and Analytics as well as leveraging business technology platform for innovation and integration.

All vendors – long term partners as well as new allies – are invited to assess our offering and join us in shaping the future, winning Healthcare organizations as happy customers.

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