EHR Regional Extension Centers (RECs)

Posted on April 20, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Every day I’m seeing little pieces of information come out about the EHR Regional Extension Centers (RECs). Sadly, there’s not one central location that is covering the activity of these RECs so that doctors and clinics could quickly see what’s going on and enjoy the benefits of the millions of dollars that was given to these RECs as part of the ARRA EHR stimulus money.

Rather than just complain, I’ve started to create a wiki page that lists each of the EHR RECs, how much funding they’ve received and hopefully links to all of the REC websites. I have a long way to go, so I’d love to get your help in updating this list. So, leave a comment or feel free to update the wiki with the information you have about these RECs.

Unfortunately, I’d guess that 90% of doctors have never even heard that hundreds of millions of dollars has been given to these RECs to help them select and implement an EMR (73% of all stats are made up like this one too). Maybe that percentage is off, but the point is worth highlighting. Most doctors don’t know that there are possibly some resources that will be available to them in their EMR selection and implementation efforts.

The problem is that most of us don’t really know what type of resources these RECs are going to provide doctors. Will the RECs be providing unbiased information and resources? Will the RECs be EMR vendor salespeople dressed in non profit REC clothing? Will we see RECs who are truly doctor advocates? What type of on the ground, in your face and practical resources will these RECs provide doctors who’ve kicked against EMR (many, not all) for so many years?

This is going to be a really interesting period in the EMR world. If RECs get things right, they can have a tremendous impact for good on EMR adoption. I’m optimistically hopeful that they won’t let the money go to waste.