This is a hot topic for a couple reasons, EMRs already have the tag of being expensive for the physician and number two, the speed of technology and what is available in the market is adding to the task...with the addition of technologies such as Silverlight with a much dynamic interface and the ability to work with Microsoft Server 2008 to data bind information to a SQL server data base with both products enhanced tremendously with security, how long before the software could be deemed "outdated". I say this from a programmer's standpoint as the software side of things is also riding one big roller coaster...as stated in the article it is also a costly venture for smaller EMR companies to invest the money to carry the certified stamp of approval.
The CCHIT task force is also actively looking for Work Group Volunteers as posted last week...so theoretically is the technology simply outdated as soon as it is certified? New potential security risks appear almost daily, so in view of the passage of a year since the initial process, is the product up to date with everything one needs for the needed environment...software companies are great and work very hard at issuing software updates, but after the initial stamp of approval, how does this affect the certification process...and then there are cases of hospitals jumping right on the bandwagon with new technology such as the Vanderbilt story that is using the most up to date software technology to save lives, and granted this case study does not necessarily fall under the certification process for medical records, it simple shows how eager health institutions are for new technology in software...to save lives...I wrote a short post a short time back about the challenges faced by the Medical Records software companies here...in summary I feel even the larger EMR companies are feeling the pinch here with both being able to offer a certified product, but yet along the same line, be able to offer the latest technology that both hospitals and physicians are demanding...it's just like anything else out there in the world, if there's something new and better out there...we all want it....and now....so it will also be interesting to see if perhaps the process might experience some acceleration in the credentialing process along the line, in other words a speedier solution to get the newest technology out to the market...BD
Certified EHRs are supposed to be the best, and the kind the feds want you to buy, but the number of programs attaining this status has tailed off big-time.
EHR certification is part of the federal push for a nationwide health information network. The US Department of Health and Human Services contracts with a private group called the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology to certify EHR programs that can perform basic tasks such as creating and displaying problem lists, checking for drug interactions, and issuing reminders about overdue tests. The feds won’t let a hospital subsidize an EHR for you unless it has this stamp of approval.