RECs Expanding “Preferred” Vendor List to Meet Goals

I’ve gotten word from a couple of different places now that a number of RECs have had to open up another RFP to increase their “preferred” (or whichever term they like to use) EMR vendor list in order to reach the number of meaningful EHR users they need to reach.

Most of you that have read my stuff for a while know how much I dislike how many of the RECs approached the EMR selection process. There are a few RECs that have done a great job of remaining neutral and supporting any and all certified EHR vendors. I applaud their efforts.

I’m just really glad that doctors weren’t fooled by RECs’ preferred vendor lists. The idea that a REC could identify the appropriate EHR vendor for such a wide variety of doctor specialties, sizes, etc is just wrong. I’m glad that the net has been widened by many RECs even if their hand seems to be kind of forced into it to meet their numbers.

I’m fine with RECs specializing in certain EHR software. There’s no way they can be experts in all 300+ EHR software. However, the EMR selection should be driven by the doctors and practice managers and then the RECs support the EMRs selected most often by the actual users.

I guess now we’ll see if RECs start searching for the low hanging fruit to meet their numbers.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Completely agree that doctors and PM’s should be the ones recommending (or not) the specific EMR software companies. The companies will be judged by them based on actual utility rather that by a judge who is running down a checklist that may be useless to a real doctor using the system.

  • Having been invovled with hand full of RECs plus the providers they help, I have to disagree a little bit. For many of the RECs, preferred vendor list was not for providers who already had EHRs. The list is for providers who were thinking of adopting. It is part of REC’s job to facilitate that. I am not sure how you can do that unless you have a starter list that RECs know well and have prearranged “deals”. This also allowed them to get partners who were more focused in the preferred list than try to get help across 300+ EHRs. I am not saying RECs all succeeded in their goal and intent but I think they all did it with the right approach. I think if you base the preferred list reason behind new adoptions, it makes more sense.

  • David,
    I’m actually talking about new adoptions, although my above suggestions work for current users as well. I believe RECs should have provided those new adopters tools to select an EHR instead of a preferred list. Then, based on the selections of the doctors, they could create a preferred list since those were the vendors that the doctors actually prefer. Plus, it makes it so they don’t have to support all 300+ EHR vendors, but can support the ones the doctors in the community really want.

    See the difference? Otherwise, you have a REC doing a selection based on some generalized criteria.

    “I am not saying RECs all succeeded in their goal and intent but I think they all did it with the right approach.”

    Considering each REC took a different approach (some don’t have preferred vendors lists for example), then how can you say they all took the right approach?

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