Guest Post: EHR Certification Does Not Equal Meaningful Use

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 or visit

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 have made many posts regarding this and I agree with David to do your research and find a vendor suitable for YOUR EMR efforts.

    As you have seen in many of my posts, I believe the real reasoning behind choosing a method and using it should not be based on recovering money for doing so. It should be done for the core reasons that EMR EHR systems were invented.

    1 To be more efficient in the workplace.
    2 To more effectively collaborate with your peers.
    3 To be responsible for the information you are to maintain and a physician.
    4 Reclaim valuable office space.

    In either case, the stimulus money is a carrot being dangled my our government. The same government that is probably 10 years behind the average technological curve.
    The same government that we know puts more spin on everything they get involved with than any individual would be allowed to do.

    My guess is it will be a long time before any of these requirements ever get nailed down. And even longer before anyone sees the reimbursement monies.

    In either case, starting to image your records is a good idea. Eventually if you get all your records imaged it will be a much easier transition to full EMR after you have this hurdle out of the way. Pick a provider that is platform independent so that when you move into full EMR you have not been sentenced to software jail.

  • Bill,
    I really like your points. I think it’s in line with what doctors want. Unfortunately, the EMR stimulus isn’t in line with that list.

  • Thank you John,

    Its nice when someone acknowledges what you believe in.
    I always feel as if by being a smaller vendor we do not seem to achieve the level of credibility that large companies do.
    The only defining difference between us is exposure.
    I certainly cannot compete with the large companies, but I think I can do the following as a small company that our larger competitors cannot.

    1) Take a sincere interest in the practices I work with.
    2) Resolve issues more quickly because of that interest.
    3) Be more accountable for the process controls protecting the records we image.
    4) Make my recommendations to a practice based on both experience and the in the best interest of the client. I am not driven by internal factions that can influence my decision.
    5) I can create fully custom solutions based on a specific need for clients as I do not have to appeal to a broad “market share” of potential business.

    Thank you again John for acknowledging my opinions and maintaining this forum to allow new ideas into this ever changing and somewhat confusing market place.

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