RECs Using Government EMR Selection Process

Posted on May 13, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve now heard two times of a REC using a government RFP process to narrow down the field of EMR vendors. Does this really make sense to anyone?

First, how does the government RFP process relate to small clinics (large versus small is very different)? The government clinics that are going through the RFP process are large clinics with multiple locations and much deeper reporting needs than regular clinics really need. I know. I worked for a state funded clinic for a lot of years and we needed deep reporting to be able to justify our existence.

Needless to say, government clinics have very different goals for EMR use than a normal ambulatory clinic. This is true as far as size, but also revenue. Yes, I’m not shy about saying the outside clinics worry about revenue. Many people don’t want to talk about it, but it’s the reality.

Furthermore, why would we look to government selection process as the right way to select software? Even in San Francisco which is the tech capital of the world there’s a whole movement to try and help improve the government software selection process since it’s such a mess. Do we really trust the government’s bureaucratic processes to select the EMR vendors that our outside clinics are using?

Let’s just say that this doesn’t make much since to me at all. Can you imagine a bank relying on the government to select the software they’re going to use to manage money? It’s amazing that in healthcare for some reason we some people think this is a good idea.