What is an EHR Vendor? Your Guide to Electronic Health Record Providers

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An EHR vendor is a company that develops, markets, and supports electronic health record software. These vendors offer a range of solutions designed to digitize and manage patient records, from basic record-keeping to advanced analytics and population health management tools.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, more and more practices are adopting electronic health records (EHRs) to streamline operations, improve patient care, and meet regulatory requirements. 

Understanding EHR Vendors

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According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), there are over 600 EHR vendors in the United States alone, ranging from small startups to large, established companies. 

While the vast array of options can seem overwhelming, it also means there's likely an EHR solution that fits your practice's unique needs and budget.

Choosing an EHR Vendor

With so many EHR vendors to choose from, how do you find the right fit for your practice? Here are some key factors to consider:


Look for an EHR that is certified by the ONC Health IT Certification Program. This ensures the software meets minimum standards for functionality, security, and interoperability. As of 2021, the current certification edition is 2015, with the 2015 Cures Update slated for enforcement in 2023.

Specialty-Specific Features

If you practice in a specialty like oncology, psychiatry, or dermatology, look for an EHR vendor that offers features and templates tailored to your specialty's unique workflows and documentation needs.


Consider how well the EHR integrates with your practice's existing systems, such as practice management software, billing platforms, and laboratory information systems. Seamless integration can save time and reduce errors.


An intuitive, user-friendly interface is crucial for adoption and efficiency. Look for an EHR with customizable workflows, easy navigation, and minimal clicks. Many vendors offer free demos or trial periods to test drive the software before committing.

Customer Support

Responsive, knowledgeable customer support can make all the difference when implementing and using an EHR. Look for vendors with multiple support channels (e.g., phone, email, chat), comprehensive training resources, and proven track records of customer satisfaction.

Security and Compliance

Your EHR vendor should have robust security measures in place to protect patient data and ensure compliance with regulations like HIPAA and HITECH. Look for features like encryption, access controls, audit trails, and regular security updates.


EHR pricing can vary widely depending on factors like practice size, deployment model (cloud-based vs. on-premise), and feature set. Be sure to consider both upfront and ongoing costs, including hardware, software licenses, implementation, training, and maintenance fees.

EHR Vendor Certification and Standards

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To ensure EHRs meet minimum standards for functionality, security, and interoperability, the ONC Health IT Certification Program was established as part of the HITECH Act of 2009. 

EHR vendors must undergo rigorous testing to achieve certification, which is required for providers to qualify for incentive programs like Meaningful Use and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The current certification edition, 2015, includes criteria related to:

  • Interoperability and information exchange
  • Clinical quality measures
  • Privacy and security
  • Patient engagement
  • Public health reporting
  • Clinical decision support
  • Computerized provider order entry
  • E-prescribing

In 2020, the ONC released the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule, which introduced new certification criteria and updates to existing standards. The 2015 Cures Update, which is slated for enforcement in 2023, focuses on:

  • Enhancing interoperability using APIs (application programming interfaces)
  • Improving patient access to their electronic health information
  • Prohibiting information blocking by EHR vendors and providers

When evaluating EHR vendors, it's crucial to ensure they are certified to the latest edition and compliant with the Cures Act requirements. This not only ensures the software meets regulatory standards but also positions your practice to take advantage of new technologies and patient engagement opportunities.

Finding the Right EHR Vendor for Your Practice

Whether you're a small family medicine clinic or a large multi-specialty group, there's an EHR vendor out there that can meet your unique needs and help you thrive in the digital age of healthcare. 

Through doing your due diligence, engaging your team, and partnering with a reputable vendor, you can harness the power of EHRs to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and drive long-term success for your practice.

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