Half of more than 1,300 physician group practices recently surveyed expect to buy an electronic health records system during the next 24 months, according to CapSite, a Burlington, Vt.-based research and advisory firm. And 70 percent of those not purchasing say they already have an EHR that will be certified for meaningful use.

That kind of activity would nearly double ambulatory I.T. purchasing in 2011 compared with the previous year, the firm notes in a new report, 2011 U.S. Ambulatory Electronic Health Record and Practice Management Study. Consequently, CapSite projects a $3 billion market for ambulatory practice management and EHR systems through 2013. Half of the surveyed practices are independent and half are hospital-owned. Other findings include:

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