Advice to Karen Bell, CCHIT Head

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I previously posted about the new head of CCHIT, Karen Bell. Most of you probably know that I’m not a huge fan of CCHIT, but I’ve decided that I’d like to give Dr. Bell some advice for CCHIT. Free consulting. How cool is that? Here we go…

If Dr. Bell really wants to solidify CCHIT’s position in the EHR world she’ll find a way to show that the CCHIT EHR certification improves usability, EMR implementation success, reimbursement, etc. CCHIT has some vague terminology about the “assurances” that CCHIT certification provide. Unfortunately, they end up being empty assurances about things that doctors don’t really value.

I’d be really impressed to see an independent study done on the EMR implementation success of CCHIT certified EHR versus non-certified EHR. Or how about a study comparing the usability of CCHIT certified EHR versus non-certified EHR. Let’s see some real data on assurances that doctors actually care about. Do that and everyone will want a CCHIT certified EHR.

Unfortunately, if you do go this route, you need to be open to the possibility that an independent study would find that CCHIT certified EHR have a higher EMR implementation failure rate or that CCHIT certified EHR are less usable. What would CCHIT do then (besides try to manipulate the study to look the way they want)?

What’s more unfortunate, is that studies like this should have been performed before Congress decided to just include the term “certified EHR” without actually knowing what consequence (good or bad) that term might have on the EHR industry.