EHR Certification Value (or lack therof)

Posted on September 21, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It seems like this question comes up every couple months about the value of EHR certification. A reader of EMR and HIPAA, QA, recently offered the following comment about EHR certification.

The issue is less that the certification bodies are unscrupulous and more that the certification criteria themselves are a joke.

If one thinks that certification denotes that a system is safe, usable, reliable and will support the care delivery needs of any particular healthcare organization, then one will be quite disappointed.

If one thinks that certification denotes that a company offering a system has certain financial stability, legal liability coverage or quality management systems in place, one will be similarly disappointed.

ONC has no interest in rigorous certification. Only higher attestation numbers.

I think this comment hits the nail on the head. I won’t say that EHR certification provides no value, but let’s not do what far too many people are doing and misconstrue the value EHR certification offers. I echo QA’s comments that EHR certification does not certify:

  • EHR Safety
  • EHR Usability
  • EHR Reliability
  • EHR Financial Stability
  • EHR Liability Coverage
  • EHR Quality Management

Let’s not make EHR certification into more than what it delivers. I think most people have gotten this message, but a few are still lingering in the shadows.