The introduction of government’s incentive program brought with it the most talked about topics today, which is the concept of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) certification. As part of the healthcare industry, from hospitals to solo healthcare providers, everyone is well aware of the fact that the government’s financial incentives are to be allocated to providers who make the meaningful use of certified EMRs.
Before getting inundated in the complexities, it is important to understand what exactly certified EMRs are and what the science behind certification is. A certified EMR is the one that meets the, minimum, set of standards and requirements set by the regulatory authorities. In other words, it could also be said that a certified EMR is the one that fulfils the criterion for meeting the meaningful use objectives.
At present, CCHIT and ONC-ATCB are two of the most renowned and recognized EMR certification bodies. However, it is also essential for physicians to comprehend that EMRs coming with the seal of CCHIT does not represent the criterion that would help them qualify for the incentive funds. The incentive program requires that the EMR is up to the par with certain security parameters and functions.
The certifications offered by the bodies are divided into two major categories, permanent certification and temporary certification. This is one of the emerging concerns amongst health IT consultants. They believe that, with such options available to EMR vendors, they would run after the easiest attestation process ’ perhaps, eventually leading to making loopholes.
Many physicians get apprehended by the word ’certified’. According to them it is the negative connotation with the word that portrays an intimidating image. However, the reality is that they fail to understand the notion of certification in true essence. As EMRs is a long term investment, physicians want to make the most of it. This is one of the major reasons why they prefer choosing a certified, all-in-one EMR solution that comes with integrated practice management and patient portal.
The logic is simple, besides maintaining clinical documentation and ensuring compliance with meaningful use, physicians also have to take care of administrative and financial workflow management and this is where the need of practice management comes in. While EMRs help them address the clinical needs of the practice, practice management helps them optimize administrative and billing workflow.