Guest Post: EHR Certification Does Not Equal Meaningful Use

Posted on March 19, 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.

EMR Stimulus Myth #2: “I have a CCHIT certified EHR so I am good to go for meaningful use”

It is likely that CCHIT will be one of the accredited certification body under the EHR incentive program. HOWEVER, given that there is no formal EHR certification program available from ONC yet, no existing certification, including from CCHIT, means much towards meaningful use.

As I covered in EMR Stimulus Myth #1, even if you implement an ONC certified EHR (when the certification program is finalized), it does not get you to meaningful use. Providers have to meaningfully use the certified EHR and report on defined clinical qualify measures over a set reporting period to meet meaningful use. Given that no EHR today is certified, how should you proceed with EHR purchase decision?

If you are making the decision to buy an EHR now, YOU MUST VETT THE EHR VENDOR prior to purchase so that you minimize the risk of buying the wrong EHR. Vetting should include the assessment of EHR against the current definition of certified EHR from ONC plus the match of EHR to the makeup of your organization. Of course, any promises of future from the vendor should be baked into the contract you are executing with them. EHR needs of a solo or a small practice group is much different than a larger group/clinic/hospital.

People often find real value in getting the assistance of a meaningful use expert for this assessment. The pitfalls avoided make it worth the investment. You don’t want to purchase and implement an EHR and then find out your EHR won’t meet the meaningful use requirements. That would be a depressing realization.

About David:
David Lee is the Principal at eRECORDS, Inc.  David has provided successful healthcare technology, CRM and financial product consultancy for the past two decades and most recently, guiding healthcare organizations to “meaningful use”.   You can reach David at david.lee@eRecords.com or visit www.eRecords.com.