EHR Diamonds and Snakes – EHR Certification Doesn’t Differentiate

Posted on August 18, 2011 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.

Jim Tate posted an interesting and valuable warning today in his post on HITECH Answers. Here’s his warning in a nutshell:

“My warning is about the mistaken belief that because an EHR or Module has been listed on the CHPL site it must be good or even serve an intended purpose with any degree of usability. That is simply not the case and everyone knows it.”

He goes on to provide more detail regarding his caution and warning:

Stage 1 Certification is not a seal of approval. No one should think the list of Certified Products is a list of equals. Quite a few of the applications are excellent and demonstrate elegant approaches to the electronic documentation of health information. Others are poorly designed, cumbersome, and no provider will ever be satisfied using them. The purpose of certification was not to separate the good from the bad. So tread very carefully and know the list of these applications contains quite a few diamonds, as well as a few snakes.

Jim Tate and I have actually spoken in person about this before. In fact, I’ve tried to get him to write a series on my blogs about what makes an EHR a diamond and which makes an EHR a snake. So far he hasn’t taken my bait, but I’ll keep trying.

Jim is spot on though. Don’t confuse EHR certification for anything more than a means to obtain EHR stimulus money. It provides no other real assurance to you as a provider. Run from EHR sales people who tell you otherwise.