VARs Get More Options for Electronic Medical Records

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Six months ago VARs looking to help their health care customers get up to speed with electronic medical records and take advantage of economic stimulus funds were mostly out of luck because few IT vendors offering EMRs were channel-friendly. But in June Synnex announced a partnership with EMR vendor Allscripts, and now Ingram Micro is set to announce a partnership with an EMR vendor, too.

VARs looking to help their customers get in on economic stimulus funds for electronic medical records will soon have yet another option open to them.

IT distributor Ingram Micro has confirmed that it will announce a partnership with a prominent EMR vendor later in November. The company says the deal is designed to help make it easier for VARs to get a piece of the EMR business that will become available as health care facilities and physicians offices become eligible for economic stimulus funds to digitize their records.

Competitor Synnex announced a partnership with EMR vendor Allscripts in June, the first such deal to provide VARs with an easier path to offering EMRs to their heath care customers.

With offerings available through two distributors, compared with how it was six months ago there are a veritable wealth of options for VARs looking to get in on the EMR business.

Earlier in 2009 when the IT industry was in the depths of recession, the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) still brought a glimmer of hope to most conversations about the economy and business.

But while vendors and VARs began to look at opportunities to help their customers that were eligible for such fundsparticularly the estimated $17 billion that would be available for updating physician's offices and health care facilities to use EMRssome in the industry complained of a problem.

While there were plenty of vendors that offered the technology for EMRs, VARs were having trouble finding any that were channel-friendly.

The Synnex/Allscripts deal served as a game changer for the space, letting Synnex VARs get into an EMR program just for the channel. And, again, the Ingram Micro program will be announced by the end of this month.

IDC analysts focusing on the EMR portion of the economic stimulus package have said that more EMR vendors will have to open their programs up to channel partners in order to be able to realize all the opportunity available through ARRA.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com