I’m guessing that many of my readers may be surprised that I work with a CCHIT certified EMR every day. It’s true. I got hired to implement an EMR at least a year or two before CCHIT even existed. In fact, I wasn’t even part of the selection process. I just did everything I could to make it a successful implementation. By almost all measures, the users of this EMR are happy we implemented this EMR.
Does it matter that this EMR is CCHIT certified? Not really. We implemented it well before it met all the laundry list of CCHIT certification criteria. Have we made a CCHIT certification be very beneficial for our clinic? Certainly.
Unfortunately, it kind of masks my biggest problem with my EMR software company putting such a strong emphasis on CCHIT certification. My problem is that for at least one major software version life cycle, my EMR was focused on CCHIT certification as opposed to the forward thinking improvements that could have been implemented.
As if one software lifecycle wasn’t enough, I just heard that they’re going to be spending another version on this year’s CCHIT certification. Basically, almost all innovation on the product that could have been used to satisfy the customers has been put on hold to appease a certification requirement.
I’m not saying that CCHIT certification is all bad. For example, I’m told the latest CCHIT certification includes a requirement for a button which can print the entire medical record with one click. Our HIM staff will love this feature and I’ve been told CCHIT certification was the driver behind this feature.
Who’s to say that this feature wouldn’t have been pushed to the top of the priority list even without CCHIT certification? However, I can’t help but wonder what other more innovative feature we could have had in its place.