New EHR Decision Making Process

Have we lost our minds? The more I read the more it seems like the decision to implement an EHR now all revolves around the $18 billion of ARRA stimulus money. Don’t get me wrong. That’s a lot of money and something that should be considered. It just seems like all the other reasons to implement or not to implement an EHR have kind of been thrown out the window.

I think it’s worthwhile to remember that even before the EHR stimulus money there was already a lot of people implementing an EHR or planning to implement one. It’s like all those people that implemented an EHR and would never go back to paper have been forgotten. Yes, there are risks associated with implementing an EHR, but there are also some real benefits to be gained by EHR use that aren’t tied to EHR stimulus money from the government. Let’s not lose our minds and forget about the bigger picture.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I’ve seen alot of offices go to EMR over the past few years. Because it meant saving time, energy, and money in their practices. But it also meant spending money, time and energy to implement the EMR. Most practices would say they will not go back to paper. The benefits of EMR really do outweigh the cost. But remember too that you have to have the full cooperation of each physician and provider in your office. If the doctors do use it the staff will not get what they need out of it.
    Some of the greatest benefits have been not from the EMR themselves but from the add on features. The ability to receive lab tests, send electronic prescriptions, fax a referral letter without printing an faxing, to name a few. The technology that has gotten us this interoffice communication is really a timesaver in the office and now it is affordable by even the 1 dr office with 2 or 3 staff and a handful of patients.
    If you are looking into EMR/EHR – GREAT!! But if your looking to get the stimulus money for the EMR – be sure the EMR is CCHIT Certified and that you qualify for the “rebate”. You must qualify under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. If you don’t take either of those insurances, or not enough of them you may not get stimulus money.

    This website seems like it has a lot of reliable sources for information. There are some white papers out there that can be understood by anyone, written mostly in layman’s terms to let you know if you qualify and what you have to do to qualify. Like, if you prescribe meds, you must be actively E-Prescribing by the time you apply for the stimulus money. That’s an extra monthly service to pay for. If you can’t fiqure it out, find someone you trust to help you, not just someone to sell you the software.

  • ” But if your looking to get the stimulus money for the EMR – be sure the EMR is CCHIT Certified”

    It was my understanding that the criteria for the stimulus had not been decieded?

  • Cathy,
    You’re absolutely right. It’s still being decided what the criteria for the stimulus will be. The writing on the wall says that CCHIT will be some part of it, but it could be more than that too.

    I think it’s a little presumptuous to say go with CCHIT now. I still say go with the EMR that will be best for you and your clinic and consider any possible stimulus money as a potential bonus to the other benefits of using an EMR.

  • If the product you use is CCHIT certified, it is a pretty safe bet to say that they will be certified under the Meaningful Use rule. Meaningful Use is but a subset of what it takes to become CCHIT certified. Alfred

  • Alfred,
    I don’t think that the new certified EHR is a subset of CCHIT. There are some similarities and concepts, but it’s not a subset.

    However, I think you’re right that many CCHIT certified vendors will become ARRA certified. Mostly because the EHR vendor that has the CCHIT certification has chosen to make EHR certification a priority for their company. So, they’ll likely make the ARRA certification a priority as well.

    It is worth asking if you want to be tied to an EHR company that focuses so much on certification. One could make the argument that an EHR vendor that focuses so much on EHR certification might not be focusing enough on the customer’s needs. These 2 focuses will obviously create very different EHR products.

  • Hi-

    Could someone please help clarify some of these issues for me: I am a psychologist and from what I read, I believe we are eligible for the EMR reimbursement program, which is great, my problem is that Centers for Medical & Medicaid don’t seem to know this & their site still states that psychologists are ineligible – do they just need to update their site, or am I getting misinformation? I’d also love to know what the requirements are for psychologists, if these have been decided & my last question is – I am based in California and would be more than willing to take Medi-Cal/Medicare patients, but California has discontinued, for lack of a better word all psychological services for Medi-Cal through private providers – so does that mean if you’re in CA you’re just out of luck ito reimbursement (not to mention psychological services?)
    If anyone has more information, I’d love to hear it,

    thank you

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