Guest Post: Facts About Certified EHR and Meaningful Use

I always love when people are interested in doing guest posts on this site. This is going to be the first in a series of blog posts about some of the misinformation that’s out there about the EMR stimulus, certified EHR, and meaningful use. I hope you enjoy!

My name is David Lee and I am a principal of a healthcare technology consulting firm called eRECORDS, Inc. Day in and day out, I talk to independent physicians, practice group owner and community clinics about HITECH Act and “meaningful use”.  My company takes pride in providing accurate and up to date information to the physicians and clinics so that they can make intelligent decisions about meaningful use.

I am continually amazed at the misinformation surrounding meaningful use and the one that scares me more than anything else is ”My EHR vendor told me that if I implement their certified EHR, I will meet the meaningful use requirements and collect EHR incentive payments.”

It is true that a “certified EHR”  is a key component to meeting the requirements of “meaningful use”.  However, a “certified EHR” is not the silver bullet to meaningful use.  Let me share some important facts:

  • Fact: Although the definition and requirement of a certified EHR has been released by the ONC, there is no organization recognized or approved by the CMS to certify EHR to meet the requirements of the meaningful use criteria.
  • Fact: Even if your organization implements a certified EHR (when certification bodies are appointed and your EHR vendor passes the certification), this does not get you to meaningful use..
  • Fact: Meeting meaningful use requirements involve qualified providers meaningfully using a certified EHR and reporting clinical quality measurements.  The key words are “meaningfully using” and “reporting” not simply having a certified EHR.

Don’t be fooled by any vendor claiming that they are certified or promising they will be certified.  Although some EHR vendors are better prepared to meet the certification when available, not a single vendor today is certified for the EHR incentive payment program.  More importantly, you cannot meet the requirements of “meaningful use” by simply implementing a certified EHR. It is vital that you find experts who can provide accurate assessment and plan for “meaningful use”.

This is a continuing series where David will share and hope to clear the myths about HITECH Act and “meaningful use”.

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.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.

5 Comments

  • Excellent introduction to a series I’m interested in reading more about. Perhaps the biggest shock I got from reading various reports of HIMSS was the number of outfits claiming to be certified, when as David so aptly pointed out, no one can possibly claim that distiniction yet. The amount of false confidence out there makes one very nervous as to how violent reactions will be in 2011 if and when these people are let down.

  • Michelle, ONC has just released some details on certification of EHR. I think given that the ONC is implementing a temporary certification and testing program first, then a permanent one later shows how behind they are with EHR certification stuff. On the positive note, it also shows how serious they are about getting certification stuff done in 2010 so that providers can qualify for 2011 meaningful use and incentive payments.

  • I think these are 3 really good facts. It drives the point home that you can’t simply purchase a (certified) EHR and you are done. An organization will have to use the EHR in a meaningful way. The truth is that it is hard enough to purchase and implement an EHR. Having to use it in a meaningful way makes it even more difficult. There is no easy road to collect the incentive payments.

  • Don’t forget compliance. HITECH requires compliance whether you are going for stimulus money or not. In my conversations with physicians not one in ten has even heard of HITECH let alone implemented the privacy and information security required.
    They must have documented policies and procedures in place, training for staff, a privacy officer etc.
    There is also no such thing as HIPAA HITECH compliant software. Compliance is a process, an ongoing process.

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