While one could come up with countless reasons behind the increasing trend of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) adoption, the federal government’s stimulus package aims to improve the quality of healthcare through the use of certified EMR cannot be overlooked either. However, some physicians have not been able to get their hands on the meaningful use financial incentives. It is either because they did not comply with the requirements or they did not use a certified EMR ’ failing to meet the requirements.
’Meaningful Use incentives are meant for eligible providers, however, it is essential for providers to not only use a certified EMR but also comply with the meaningful use standards. Failure to meet the aforementioned conditions could also result in penalties’, says a North Dakota based health IT consultant.
With numerous EMR vendors in the market today, almost everyone claims to provide a certified EMR. However, physicians are exposed to the reality only after they have implemented the so called certified EMR. Therefore, before choosing a particular EMR, it is important for providers to conduct a thorough research and make sure that the EMR serves the purpose of both improving the quality of healthcare and helping them earn the financial incentives. Established EMR vendors make sure that their product is certified by the regulatory authority, this helps them in capturing the existing market share and attracting potential clients, while providers tend to benefit from the certified EMR through the allocated incentive funds.
Having catered the certification part, one of the most intriguing questions is that why do providers fail to comply with the meaningful use criterion? There are several reasons to it. Some of the providers complain about the inadequate implementation training, while others have issues that their questions regarding workflow management and changes remain unanswered. Fortunately, today, physicians have a solution to that as well. This is where the Regional Extension Centers (RECs) play their part. Established as non-profit organizations, the RECs, in collaboration with local resources like colleges, help the healthcare professionals and their staff to ensure effective EMR implementation. One of the purposes of RECs is to help providers meet the meaningful use requirement.
’RECs are meant to facilitate healthcare providers in matters related to health IT integration. Since RECs have specialized members with extensive experience in the EMR industry, physicians find it easy to learn the application. The eventual results are, of course, improved quality of healthcare and a gateway to government’s financial incentives’, says a California based health IT consultant.
RECs also help physicians, not using EMRs, to go through the entire process of choosing and EMR to proper implementation. However, since the health IT industry is immense, established EMR vendors also provide implementation and training sessions along at affordable rates. In fact, some of the renowned names also offer FREE support and maintenance, back-up, document management etc.