Meeting CMS Meaningful Use Requirements
The $19.2 billion Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is sure to have dramatic and lasting effects on the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in this country. That being said, DrFirst cautions practices to avoid making rash and costly decisions just to take advantage of the CMS meaningful use incentives being offered. Jumping into a quick-fix EHR solution without carefully considering the importance of selecting the right HIT system for their practice long-term, not only to satisfy CMS meaningful use requirements.
Research has shown that successful EHR adoption depends on careful planning, which includes determining which EHR solution meets the specific needs of that individual practice. As John Moore of the independent research firm, Chilmark Associates, cautioned, "Aggressive schedules … while well-meaning, have the very real danger of causing more harm than good." The harm will come in the form of far too many poorly executed health IT deployments by physicians racing to capitalize on the CMS meaningful use reimbursement. While these deployments may allow the practice to receive CMS meaningful use incentive payments in the short-term, over time, lack of efficiency, poor workflow and the wrong system for the practice needs is more likely to actually reduce or eliminate any meaningful use benefit over the long term.
Taking the time to carefully consider your vendor and choosing a system that has received the ONC-ATCB certification is an important first step toward helping practices achieve CMS meaningful use while also positively impacting their practice. Already, five of our EMR/EHR partners:
- Greenway Medical Technologies
- Intuitive Medical Software
- Universal EMR Solutions
have had their EHR products pass the ONC-ATCB CMS meaningful use program. This program certifies that EHR systems are capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria supporting Stage 1 CMS meaningful use as approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)*. Certification is required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Are you searching for an EHR that will ensure you meet CMS meaningful use requirements and net you the incentive benefits? Making your selection will be easier if you pose the following questions to vendors you might be considering.
Is the EMR certified for CMS meaningful use?Eligible providers must implement a certified product to be eligible for CMS meaningful use incentives. As of the date of this post, there are three firms approved by the government to test and certify EMR systems: The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT); the Drummond Group; and InfoGard Laboratories.
Is the EMR connected to a patient registry?Patient registries fulfill many of the main components of the CMS meaningful use requirements because of their ability to take compiled data and provide alerts and decision support. Also, sending immunization data to registries is a required CMS meaningful use menu item.
Can the EMR actually demonstrate that its system meets CMS meaningful use requirements?Ask for a demo to ensure the product will make your practice eligible for the Federal government's incentive payments by satisfying the CMS meaningful use Requirements.
Does it allow you to e-prescribe?Does it provide drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks, clinical decision support and tracking and drug formulary checks?
Does it enable you to provide required reporting electronically?
Does the EMR protect the privacy and security of patient data?
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