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The Impact of EHR Certification

In the comments of my post on EMR and EHR titled EHR Vendors Using EHR Certification Excuse, Jeff offered a frank comment about the realities EHR vendors face in this current climate:

I went through EHR certification for a EHR product – for the sake of this discussion it can remain nameless as you can insert any EHR name and it will share the same issues. The process was cumbersome and I agree is not worthwhile for our clients. However at least 90% of our clients were requesting it and all of our sales pipelines say they required it. The interaction you describe I have had. I don’t think it’s the fault of us as a vendor as much as the short sightedness of the committee that created the certification rules. We had to implement fields/screens/buttons that served no purpose in the type of practice we supplied our software to. That did not matter to the certification proctor, we had to show it or we failed and lost a lot of money. Getting certified threw off our development cycle at least 6 months. During that time we had to push off many good customer requested enhancements. In hindsight would our customers prefer we did not get certified – probably, but could our company take a chance at not being able to renew contracts or get new sales. No way, not for a government mandated push.

This reminds me of a video I recently saw that asked the question, “What do we want EHR certification to do?” The problem here is that I think everyone has a different answer to that question. Until we define what EHR certification should really accomplish, it’s hard to make criteria that are beneficial and easy to understand. In the rush to meet the regulatory requirements I think we missed creating the bigger vision of why we’re doing EHR certification at all. That’s why we’re where we’re at today.

October 24, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

PDR Certified Help to Determine EHRs That Meet Minimum Drug Safety Requirements

A new drug safety certification program for EHR and ePrescribing platforms that is supposed to “recognize EHRs that meet minimum drug safety requirements” is in the works, according to a recent press release.

PDR Network, the leading distributor of FDA-approved drug labeling, safety and REMS information, and iHealth Alliance, a not-for-profit organization involved in protecting patients and providers, announced the program, “PDR Certified”, on May 10th. Healthcare providers will be able to determine if the EHR system they use currently or will be purchasing meets minimum drug safety requirements.

Because of the influx of EHRs in recent years, it is more important than ever for there to be certain requirements that must be met to ensure patient and provider safety. Nancy Dickey, the chair of the iHealth Alliance said concerning this:

It is vitally important that these systems include standards for drug safety functionality, and that these standards are easy for busy physicians to identify and understand — fortunately, these goals are shared widely and are in sync with those called for by the FDA.

In order for an EHR vendor to be considered “PDR Certified”, the following functions and features must be included in their product:

1. Full FDA Labeling

2. Drug Alerts and Warnings (Safety Alerts, Boxed Warnings, Recalls and REMS Communications)

3. Adverse Drug Event Reporting

4. FDA-compliant patient education or support services.

Any EHR vendor that becomes “PDR Certified”  can display the logo for “PDR Certified”, which will allow prospective and exisiting customers the opportunity to know they meet requirements above. Dr. David Troxel, Medical Director of the Doctors COmpany, said:

Access to full FDA labeling combined with timely delivery of drug alerts is critical to drug safety in any enviornment but particularly in EHRs which play such a large and growing role in care delivery today. PDR Certification will provide an easy to recognize way for our physician members, and all U.S. providers, to know if they system they are using or evaluating lives up to these drug safety standards.

More information on the program can be found at www.PDRCertified.org.

What do you think of having an EHR Drug Safety certification?

June 15, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Healthcare IT Data Entry Takeaways

I was looking over Rock Health’s writeup of the Health Innovation Summit. A lot of the post is more about what happened as opposed to what was said, but there were some really interesting takeaways that stuck out to me from the Form Reform: Data Entry for Humans session by Jackson Wilkinson. Here’s the section on it:

Jackson Wilkinson, Co-founder of WeSprout, gave attendees practical advice for data entry. Data is an important part of the healthcare equation, but input design is blocking progress. Quick take-aways: Don’t ask for anything you don’t need; whatever you request, return the favor in spades; make it fast, accurate, and simple. And don’t forget: The best form is the one you never have to fill out.

The money phrases:

Input design is blocking progress
and
Whatever you request, return the favor in spades
and
The best form is the one you never have to fill out.

While I’m quite sure this presentation had to do more with consumer health IT than EMR and EHR software, I think there’s a lot that could be learned from these comments by EMR companies. Far too many EHR companies believe that they have their users captive and so they can ask whatever they want of their users. Sure, they’d never admit this out loud, but when you look at their EHR software and the design, you realize that they weren’t focusing on the above points very well.

As I think about these points, I’m taken back to a visit to San Francisco where I met with the founders of Elation EMR, Conan and Kyna. I absolutely loved their laser focus on stripping out the unneeded extras in their EMR software. They talked about becoming a certified EHR and handling ePrescribing and how they literally had to work tirelessly to make meaningful use of a certified EHR a seamless experience that didn’t place an undue burden on the provider. I saw this same focus through every part of their approach to EHR software development. I haven’t seen their software in a while so I don’t know how well they’ve followed through on this focus, but I’m interested to see it again to find out.

January 23, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

90% of Doctors Expect to Have EHR Within 3 Years per USA Today

@ElinoreBoeke – Elinore Boeke
90% of surveyed doctors expect to have EHRs within three years usat.ly/tSgBNG #HealthIT #EHR via @USATODAY

The survey also sets EHR adoption at 46% and quotes someone saying there are 1000 EHR software vendors out there. Well, I think all of those numbers are way off.

First, expect that doctors won’t meet their expectations cause 90% of doctors won’t have EHR within 3 years.

Second, I think we’re closer to 25-30% adoption. 46% probably includes a lot of people who have a PMS, but no real EMR. Maybe they do 1 or 2 small EHR like function.

Third, 1000 EHR software vendors, really? Even if you expand to things like ePrescribing I’d put the number closer to 600. If you take out the partial EHR software companies, I think it’s closer to 300. Granted, there are more and more EHR software coming out each day.

November 30, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Applauding Any Free Trial EHR Offering

A few days ago I saw that iChartsMD announced a 30 day free trial offer of their EHR and PMS software. I like to applaud any EHR vendor that offers a free trial of their EHR software. I’m a little concerned that the 30 days might not be enough, but from my experience most EHR vendors are a bit flexible with the 30 day number. I personally like the 60 day number since doctors are busy with the day job. However, it’s not a terrible thing to encourage a provider to use the software, evaluate it and make a decision in a timely manner. More waiting doesn’t necessarily mean more testing. It can just mean more procrastination.

Either way, I’m a huge proponent of doing a trial run of the EHR software that you select. I actually think this is part of the reason why the Free EHR software companies have been so successful. Since it’s Free, their “free EHR trial period” is forever. Basically, there’s no risk for a doctor to try out the full suite of EHR products from the various free EHR vendors. Doctors and practice managers love that ability to fully test the product before finalizing the purchasing decision.

In case you’ve never seen some of my previous posts, remember how choosing an EMR is like marriage (part 2), and EMR divorce is ugly. The free EHR trial is a good way to test the EHR first.

October 5, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Future of EHR and the Human Genome

Dr. West has a really interesting post up over on Happy EMR Doctor about EMR Software and the Human Genome. In the post he talks about a new program to help integrate EHR software with genome data. It’s a 4 year project, but I believe is the start of something groundbreaking.

It’s become quite clear to me over the past year that the EHRs of the future will be far more than patient records as recorded by the doctor. Instead, the EHR of the future will include a whole bunch of outside data that is collected by the patient.

Yesterday, we briefly discussed health-logging and that will be a major source of data that doctors can use to treat patients. However, probably even more powerful could be tying EHR software to a person’s genome data.

Once we understand the genome, we will likely be able to treat patients more effectively. We will be able to diagnose patients with more precision. We will be able to treat future issues before they become issues. Imagine if you could prescribe a drug that was unique to that person’s genome. Pretty cool stuff.

We are a long way from this happening, but I can clearly see that it’s the future of healthcare and the best way to leverage the genomic data is to tie it with the EHR and its clinical decision support system.

Unless someone thinks it might be better to have patients bring in their genome data on paper. Oh wait, last I checked you couldn’t do genomic tracking on paper.

August 30, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Certified Allscripts Enterprise v11.2 (The One for Meaningful Use) Is Delayed Until Fall 2012?

I got this interesting email from someone who works for a REC:

I caught word that Allscripts Enterprise v11.2 (that will allow ambulatory physician practices to reach meaningful use) will be delayed until Fall of 2012. I haven’t seen anything on the Internet or through my social networking connections. I was just curious of you heard about this and if you can help determine if this is just a rumor or fact.

I haven’t heard this and I’d be surprised if it were true. Could Allscripts really be that far behind on releasing their Certified EHR that will be able to get users to meaningful use?

I did a search on the ONC-CHPL website which lists all the EHR software that’s been certified. The Allscripts Enterprise EHR 11.2 has been certified as a complete EHR. In fact, it’s certified twice as a complete EHR and once as a modular EHR. I assume that’s based on the various configurations and third party software it can connect with to meet the complete EHR certification requirements.

So, the software is at least in good enough shape to be certified. Will it really take until next year for them to roll the software out to their practices? I recently found out that Practice Fusion has taken a month or so to get out their certified EHR. However, they’re a SaaS EHR and a month is much more reasonable than a year.

I wonder if the timeline might be very clinic specific. For example, Allscripts might be ready to deploy their certified Allscripts Enterprise EHR right now, but the clinic that already has it installed might need the next year to project manage the upgrade. Still seems like a long time to upgrade, but I’ve seen worse.

With that in mind, I’d have to call this a rumor for now. Although, I’m going to send this post to some of my contacts at Allscripts and see if I can get a response.

June 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.