Your EHR Vendor Isn’t Certified – How Should You Approach MU Stage 2?

A recent study conducted by Wells Fargo Securities stated “Over 700 EHR vendors had solutions certified for Stage 1, but at this point about 40 have been certified for Stage 2. While there is still time, we believe 300-500 vendors will ultimately disappear from the government program.”

We talked about the possibility of many EHR vendors not being 2014 certified in our interview with John Squire. This is a real possibility for many EHR vendors. It will be interesting to see which ones choose not to tell their customers that they won’t be ready until it’s too late to switch EHR. I think that will say something about the company.

Allscripts has put out a whitepaper that looks at some of the meaningful use stage 2 challenges and what you should do to make sure you’re ready.

  • Where to begin with Meaningful Use Stage 2
  • The new requirements for Stage 2 attestation
  • Technology upgrade and replacement considerations
  • Meaningful Use reporting
  • Transitioning to population health management

I find the idea of using MU stage 2 as a way to get ready for population health pretty interesting. I know this is a challenge when an organization is overwhelmed by the day to day life of someone in healthcare.

Considering the abysmal meaningful use stage 2 numbers that were released, it seems that many organizations could benefit from some meaningful use stage 2 help this whitepaper provides. I’d be interested to hear if people think that MU stage 2 does help their organization move towards population health management. Is that a reasonable goal you can work on as you work on MU stage 2? Reminds me of those who are doing CDI (clinical documentation improvement) projects alongside their ICD-10 work.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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 agree with the disparity in MU1 versus MU2 certification but the numbers are way off. In my own recent analysis I found at least 75 Vendors (not just products – if I counted products, they are upwards of 200) with Ambulatory Complete EHR certified for 2014.

    The big question is, how many of them are ready to roll out? Many of these products are based on the client server model and therefore not rolled out to clients. Rolling out certified software is not easy.

    Only true Cloud systems can make their certified software available as soon as it is certified.

  • Good article and white paper but the article contents don’t really fit the title.

    Based on the title (your current EHR vendor isn’t 2014 certified)your options were:
    * Request a hardship exception – this was due 4/1 to avoid the 2015 penalty
    * Move to a 2014 certified EHR – time is running out on this option as you will need to get up and running in time to achieve a quarter of MU by the end of the year if you have previously attested. Time is really running out for first time attesters who need to do so by 10/1.

    You can’t achieve MU in 2014 without an EHR that is 2014 certified – even if you only have to do Stage 1.

  • John,

    I wonder if you saw this quote and white paper in an email from HITECH Answers as I did yesterday. Have you seen the Wells Fargo Securities study, including the date of the “recent” study?

    I could not find anything on the Wells Fargo Security site that indicates that there is this kind of a study, but I am not doubting that there is. I would like to see the context and the date of the study. This is what I received from HITECH, which indicates that they have not seen the study themselves either:

    “Hope you’re well…you’ll need to contact Allscripts, the authors of the paper. The reference comes directly from them but believe you can get a copy of the report if you register with Wells Fargo Securities:”

    As the numbers are ever changing, the date the data was collected is critical to evaluating the merit.

  • John,

    MacPractice has fulfilled all the requirement for MacPractice MU, applied and requested a test date and is awaiting a response. Only the ATCBs know how many Complete EHRs are in the same stage of certification.


  • What numbers are you guys worried about?
    From a doc’s perspective, all that matters is that their EHR is certified.
    Sure in the bigger picture, if a bunch aren’t/don’t get certified, that may drive HHS to delay things…or they might just say, too bad, no check for you.
    I think this is all part of the EHR herd thinning process.

  • I took the numbers from the same place as HITECH Answers. The Wells Fargo security study is usually in limited distribution. I’ll have to see if I can get it. Of course, you can see the numbers: Like Mark said though, there are some that have passed with the ONC-ATCB and they are just waiting for ONC to update ONC-CPHL.

    Regardless of the exact numbers, the key message is that many EHR vendors will fall short. I’d be interested to hear if people disagree with this. We already know that some have said they’re not going to be certified. What is a practice going to do if their EHR vendor isn’t certified? They better think about it now and learn if they’re going to be stuck in that boat or not.

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