Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

One EHR Vendor’s Experience with Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification

Posted on January 3, 2014 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.

I always love hearing from the CEO of EHR vendors. One that never disappoints is a man that most people in the EHR world have probably never heard of. His name is Michael Archuleta and he’s the Founder and CEO of a company called ArcSys (RedPlanet is their EHR). In response to my article on ComChart not going after meaningful use certification, he sent me a newsletter he recently sent his staff and some other side comments. They provide some real insight into the 2014 certification process and meaningful use stage 2.

Excerpts from the newsletter:

ArcSys has invested heavily in meeting the demands of Meaningful Use Stage 2. Whereas we thought Stage 1 was difficult, Stage 2 has taken substantially more time to meet the requirements.

We are not alone in meeting these challenging complexities. In reading the Internet chatter, there are other vendors who are facing the daunting task at hand.

ComChart Medical Software, has thrown in the towel by saying, “In addition to the Meaningful Use mandates, there continues to be a never ending stream of new mandates such as ICD-10, PQRI, Meaningful Use 2, Meaningful Use 3, SNOMED, ePrescribing, LOINC, Direct Project, health information exchanges etc. As a result of the mountain of mandates, ComChart EMR and the other small EMR companies will have to choose to implement the mandates or use their resources to add “innovative” features to their EMR. Unfortunately, the small EMR companies do not have the resources to do both.”

Obviously, ArcSys does not share this same viewpoint. If we can do it, then it means anyone should have been able to do it, too. We are either smarter (not true) or we had a superior software design from the beginning (probably quite true). The first round of software development has now been completed and we are prepared for certification. Our certifier, the Drummond Group, has a backlog of systems to be tested and have given us a mid-April test date. Having completed this development, we know with great precision what each doctor will have to do in order to meet MU2. And, yes, it will be difficult.

There are 37 testing “points” that we have focused on. It took us two months to do 36 of these points and another two months to do the remaining point (clinical quality measures). Many of the testing points had literally hundreds of scenarios to evaluate. There were situations we would discover after working for weeks that necessitated going back to the beginning and having to start over on retests.

Now for some really interesting bullet points on meaningful use stage 2 certification:

ArcSys has to be the tiniest company on the planet seeking MU2 certification.

Yes, I dislike the extra burdens being placed on providers for MU2.
Yes, I dislike the vague (non-existent?) guidelines on how to properly use SNOMED, Rxnorm, and LOINC.
Yes, I dislike the committees who dream up measures and certification rules that have little relevance to how docs like to treat and interact with patients. Do they really believe MU2 and seeing 40+ patients/day can co-exist??
Yes, I have written every line of code for our product to handle MU2 and I know of flaws and weaknesses the testing tools are ignoring.
Yes, I hate being pulled away from being able to work on software enhancements.
Yes, we were naive in thinking that MU2 would take as much time as MU1 to develop and test. It was easily 10 times more complicated.
Yes, I dislike wading through the Google/JIRC posts to see what other hapless souls like me our stumbling for answers regarding certification.
Yes, it is nearly impossible to read any document produced by HL7.org and find helpful guidelines.
Yes, I dislike the Cypress testing tool.
Yes, I dislike the XML bloat for reporting measures and transporting patient data.

So, why do we continue? Simple. We made a commitment to our client base who likes our service and support. And, in the end, we’ll be as conversant as anyone on the ins and outs of MU2.

How’s that for a real look at some of the nitty gritty EHR vendors face when it comes to 2014 Certification and meaningful use stage 2?

CCHIT Has Become Irrelevant

Posted on June 22, 2011 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.

For those of you that are relatively new to EMR and HIPAA, you might not appreciate this post as much as long time readers of EMR and HIPAA. A few years back, I admit that I was pretty harsh on CCHIT and their EHR certification. I remember one guy stopping me at a conference and after realizing who I was asked, “so what’s your issue with CCHIT?” I was happy to answer that I thought they misled the industry (doctors in particular) by saying that the CCHIT certification provided an assurance that the EHR was a good EHR. They never came outright and said this, but that’s what EMR sales people would communicate during the sales process.

In fact, EHR certification was incorrectly seen by many doctors and practice managers as the stamp of approval on an EHR being of higher quality, more effective, easier to use, and was more likely to lead to a successful EHR implementation. EHR certification today still has some of these issues. However, the fact is that the EHR certification doesn’t certify any of the great list above. If EHR certification of any kind (CCHIT or otherwise) could somehow assure: a higher implementation success rate, a better level of patient care, a higher quality user experience, a financial benefit, or any other number of quality benefits, then I’d support it wholeheartedly. The problem is that it doesn’t, and so they can’t make that assurance.

So, yes, I do take issue with an EHR certification which misleads doctors. Even if it’s the EHR salespeople that do the misleading.

I still remember the kickback I got on this post I did where I said CCHIT Was Marginalized and the post a bit later where I said that the CCHIT process was irrelevant. Today, I came across an article on CMIO with some interesting quotes from CCHIT Chair, Karen Bell. Here’s a quote from that article.

In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) new program has provided two new reasons for certification: proof that an EHR can do the things that the government wants it to do, and to enable eligible providers and hospitals to get EHR incentive money.

“The idea is not to assure the product will do all things that are desired for patient care, instead, the idea is to stimulate innovation,” said Bell. As a result, the program is considered a major success because more than 700 certified health IT products are now on the ONC website. “The idea was to get a lot of new products started. This is a very different reason for certification than what we began doing several years ago,” she said.

However, just because CCHIT or another ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) doesn’t test and certify for a particular ability, that doesn’t mean the EHRs don’t have it. “It’s just up to [the provider] to make sure the vendors have it,” said Bell.

I first want to applaud Karen Bell and CCHIT for finally describing the true description of what EHR provides a clinic assurance that:
1. The EHR does what the government wants
2. You are eligible for the EHR incentive money
Then, she even goes on to say that it’s up to the providers to make sure the vendors have the right capabilities for their clinic.

I imagine Karen and CCHIT would still probably say that the CCHIT “complete” EHR certification provides assurance that…< fill in the blank >, which the ONC-ATCB EHR certification doesn’t provide. The happy part for me is that even if CCHIT says this, no one is really listening to that message anymore.

Yes, CCHIT has essentially become irrelevant.

I can’t remember anyone in the past year asking me about CCHIT certification. From my experience, many people care about ONC-ATCB EHR certification, but they really couldn’t care less if it comes from CCHIT, Drummond Group, ICSA Labs, SLI Global, or InfoGuard (That’s all of them right?). Have any of you had other experiences?

I also do enjoy the irony of this post coming right after my post about differentiation of EMR companies (Jabba vs Han Solo). CCHIT is the reason that I know so much about the challenge of EHR differentiation. CCHIT’s efforts provided some very valuable (and lengthy) discussions over the past 5 years about ways to help doctors differentiate between the 300+ EHR vendors. As you can see from my comments above, I was just never satisfied with CCHIT being the differentiating factor. As you can see from my post yesterday, I’m still searching for a satisfactory alternative for differentiating EHRs. Until then, we’ll keep providing an independent voice a midst all the noise.

Another Possible ONC-ATCB EHR Certifying Organization

Posted on October 5, 2010 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.

One of my more interesting meetings at AAFP was with a company called SLI Global Solutions. The meeting was so interesting, because SLI Global Solutions plans to apply to become an ONC-ATCB organization very soon. This coming after the announcement of the first ONC-ATCB certified EHR from Drummond Group and CCHIT along with the announcement of InfoGard as an ONC-ATCB and Weno Healthcare’s plans to become an ONC-ATCB.

We obviously had a long conversation about the EHR certification, but suffice it to say that SLI Global Solutions is going full steam ahead to become an ONC-ATCB. It sounds like they’ve been doing a number of other certifications previously. They’ve even done some consulting work in healthcare.

When I asked SLI Global Solutions what they thought would help them to differentiate themselves from the other ONC-ATCB, one response was that they were really good at providing feedback and helping organizations through the certification process. I personally think that many EHR vendors and other healthcare organizations that need to certify for the EMR stimulus money are nervous about the unknown issues related to certification. If SLI Global Solutions can provide them a feedback loop then it could go a long way to relieving the nerves. This is the main suggestion Jim Tate makes in his post about selecting an ATCB.

I asked SLI Global Solutions how much they planned to charge for the EHR certification. Here was their response, “We have not finalized the pricing yet because we are contemplating ancillary services pre and post certification but we will likely be in the $20,000 USD ballpark.”

With SLI Global Solutions, that would make 5 ONC-ATCB and I’m guessing there are other companies like this that will become certifying bodies as well. I’m all about competition and so the more ONC-ATCB the merrier.

It does make me wonder how many ONC-ATCB the market can support. Not to mention, there’s the interesting question of whether they’re a bit late to the party. I guess time will tell.

33 More ONC-ATCB Certified EHR

Posted on October 1, 2010 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.

Today, CCHIT announced their first ONC-ATCB certified EHR a day later than Drummond Group’s ONC-ATCB announcement. Although, CCHIT is announcing 33 EHR vendors (21 complete ONC-ATCB certified EHR and 12 module certified). No real surprises on this list. They were the previously CCHIT certified EHR companies. That gives us 36 total ONC-ATCB EHR right now (or 24 if we’re talking complete EHR certification).

Here’s the list of Complete ONC-ATCB certified EHR:
ABEL Medical Software Inc.
ABELMed EHR – EMR / PM

Allscripts
Allscripts Professional EHR

Aprima Medical Software, Inc
Aprima

athenahealth, Inc
athenaClinicals

CureMD Corporation
CureMD EHR

The DocPatientNetwork.com
Doctations

eClinicalWorks LLC
eClinicalWorks

Epic Systems Corporation
EpicCare Inpatient – Core EMR

Epic Systems Corporation
EpicCare Ambulatory – Core EMR

GE Healthcare
Centricity Advance

gloStream, Inc.
gloEMR

Intuitive Medical Software
UroChartEHR

MCS – Medical Communication Systems, Inc.
iPatientCare

Medical Informatics Engineering
WebChart EHR

Meditab Software, Inc.
IMS

NeoDeck Software
NeoMed EHR

NextGen Healthcare
NextGen Ambulatory EHR

Nortec Software Inc
Nortec EHR

Prognosis Health Information Systems
ChartAccess

Pulse Systems
2011 Pulse Complete EHR

SuccessEHS
SuccessEHS

Here’s the list of module ONC-ATCB EHR Certifications:
NOTE: CCHIT does make a comment that some of these may become complete EHR certifications later.
Allscripts
Allscripts ED

Allscripts
Allscripts PeakPractice

Health Care Systems, Inc.
HCS eMR

NexTech Systems Inc.
NexTech Practice 2011

nextEMR, LLC
nextEMR, LLC

PeriGen
PeriBirth

Sammy Systems
SammyEHR

T-System Technologies, Ltd.
T SystemEV

Universal EMR Solutions
Physician’s Solution

Vision Infonet Inc.,
MDCare EMR

WellCentive
WellCentive Registry

Wellsoft Corporation
Wellsoft EDIS

First ONC-ATCB Certified EHR – Drummond Group Wins

Posted on September 30, 2010 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.

Drummond Group just posted the news of the first 3 EHR vendors which have been officially certified EHR for the ARRA EHR stimulus money. Looks like Drummond Group won the race to be the first to certify an EHR.

The interesting thing for me is the list of 3 EHR vendors that became the first certified EHR:
PARADIGM (QRS Inc.)
ifa EMR (ifa united i-tech Inc.)
ChartLogic EMR (ChartLogic, Inc.)

I consider myself pretty well informed about EMR vendors, but I only realy knew 1 of the 3 and I’d maybe heard of one other, but just by name. As all the ONC-ATCB certified vendors start completing their EHR certification, I think we’re going to learn about a WHOLE lot of EMR vendors that very few people knew about previously.

I also find it interesting that all 3 EHR vendors have already updated their website in some way to represent the new ONC-ATCB EHR certification.

Note: We need a new way to identify the certified EHR. ONC-ATCB just doesn’t have the right ring to it. I might work on this problem.

More CCHIT Details

Posted on September 28, 2010 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.

The good people over at >HITECH Answers must have more time on their hands than I do. They got on the CCHIT conference call where they talked about their newest ONC ATCB certified EHR program. Here’s a portion of the HITECH Answers summary which includes some CCHIT pricing details:

The ONC-ATCB Certified 2011/2012 Toolkit will help prepare health IT companies and EHR developers for testing. You can purchase the toolkit for $1000. Pricing will be in tier levels and range from $8K to $34,300K. They want to do the testing in a single day. There can be an accumulative approach where modules can be certified and added to the current certification without having to retest previously certified criteria.

It still feels wrong that they charge you $1000 for the toolkit you’ll need to use in order to pay them $34k more dollars to become certified. Uhh…yeah.

The fact that you can use a cumulative approach to certification is a difference between CCHIT and Drummond Group. Drummond Group has said that you would have to recertify everything if you wanted to do more modules.

HITECH Answers also mentioned that CCHIT has a program called EACH (EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals) that will certify EHR technology in place for legacy and custom programs. They’d been calling this the EHR site certification before.

They also did a quick poll on the CCHIT call with the following results:
“Using the interactive polling option of the meeting, CCHIT asked attending vendors what their plans on certification were. In a quick response from about 250 vendors, 24% said they were intending to certify immediately, 45% said in the next few months, and 8% where not sure.”

Don’t ask me what the other 23% of responses were. However, these results do point to my belief that most EHR vendors will certify.

Full CCHIT Certification Estimates

Posted on September 16, 2010 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.

I’ve written previously about the cost of EHR certification with Drummond Group and CCHIT. However, this just addresses the hard cost of certification that’s paid to the certifying bodies. This cost doesn’t take into account a lot of other costs associated with becoming a certified EHR like the cost to develop and test the features that certification requires.

Keith Boone on his blog Healthcare Standards has done a great blog post that evaluates the other costs associated with certifying an EHR software beyond the fee you pay to the certifying body. If you’re an EMR vendor, this is an article that you definitely want to look at and consider. Plus, I’d love your feedback on things he missed or where he might have missed costs or estimated to high on costs.

Here’s Keith’s projections for EHR certification costs based on his estimates:
Average yearly developer salary: $80,000
Fully Burdened yearly cost: 200,000 – 240,000
Times the length of the project (~5.5 years)
Total certification labor cost: $1.1M – $1.32M

Of course, this number matches the estimates that came out with the HITECH act as well. ONC estimated between $500k-$1.5 million. So, this is pretty close.

I’ll leave the impact (good or bad) of this expense open for discussion. I think most people know where I stand on it.

EHR Certification Testing Dates Scheduled into November

Posted on September 14, 2010 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.

I can’t remember when or where I saw it, but at some point I saw someone reference Jim Tate from EMR Advocate as the expert on EHR certification. I’d known Jim electronically for quite a while having followed his writings online and on Twitter. I even haphazardly bumped into Jim where we both looked at it each other and recognized our pictures from Twitter.

After Jim stopped by to comment on my previous EHR certification post, I emailed Jim to ask him if he wanted to do a guest blog post for EMR and HIPAA. He is busy with 3 stage 1 EHR certifications this week, but did send the following info which I found interesting and useful. I’m also looking forward to taking a look at his manual on meaningful use. I hear it’s highly targeted at doctors and clinical practices which fits in line with my style too.

The HHS/ONC Authorized Certification Program has really broken loose. We were in the eye of the storm, but the eye has passed and the windows are being blown out. Vendors are desperately trying to get a testing date in October and not Novemenber or later. The ability to get Stage 1 Certified and listed on the ONC website is now a giant business issue. A two month’s delay in being able to market and sell certified technology is a handicap. We will see the effect that decisions made over the past year by vendors will play out in the market. Those that applied for the CCHIT Preliminary IFR Stage 1 test are sitting pretty as their can choose test dates based on their application date. Those vendors that elected to wait may pay a price in delayed certifications. Of coursethere are presently 2 organizations authorized to test and certify and I expect maybe 2 more in coming weeks. That may help the crunch. The Drummond Group is charging $23,500 for all Stage 1 testing for EPs and has begun accepting applications for testing. Information about their program is available at: http://www.drummondgroup.com/pdfs/EHR_Testing_and_Certification_Guide_Rev_A.pdf (PDF). A number of my vendor clients have applied and have been given test dates in mid to late November. CCHIT will hold a Town Call next Monday at 1 PM ET: http://www.cchit.org/about/towncalls/CCHIT-Town-Call-Authorized-HHS-certification-program. The fees for their Stage 1 testing will be announced at that time and applications will begin to be accepted that date. Vendors who had already applied for CCHIT’s Preliminary Stage 1 Testing will begin testing against the CMS Final Rule next week. By the end of this month we will Certified Technology listed on the ONC website.

Due to the complexities of the CMS EHR Incentive Program for EPs I have written a manual, The Incentive Roadmap, to help guide medical practices through the process. It is being updated continually to reflect the changes in the incentive program. It is being sold at HITECHAnswers.

Existing EHR Vendors with CCHIT Certification

Posted on September 13, 2010 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.

As I mentioned in my previous post about the race to be the first EHR certified (and the first ATCB to certify an EHR), there’s a lot more going on in the battle amongst the EHR certifying bodies.

The first interesting detail surrounds the previous CCHIT certified EHR vendors. This turns out to be a really great move by CCHIT. A quick look at CCHIT’s website has 49 EHR products (or modules of products) that have been certified for either the CCHIT 2011 certification or for the Preliminary ARRA certification. That’s 49 pieces of EMR software (a few less since some are different versions of the same product) have paid $22k+ in order to be certified by CCHIT.

I’ve talked to one of these EHR vendors and they said that CCHIT did a call with all current vendors and said that they will be honoring their previous commitment to provide the real ARRA certification at no additional cost to these providers. This turns out to be really smart if it means that many of the big EHR players like GE, Elipsys/Allscripts, NextGen, Epic, Athena, Pulse, Cerner, etc all decide to continue forward with CCHIT.

Many would ask why they would pay another $20k to someone like Drummond Group if they could get the EHR certification for free from CCHIT. Turns out their is a possibility if CCHIT isn’t able to deliver their certification in a timely manner and Drummond Group is able to do it much quicker.

Remember the list above are HUGE EHR vendors where $20k is basically a drop in the bucket. It’s kind of scary to consider that, but that’s the reality for most of the EHR vendors. Sure, it’s not what they’d like to spend if they don’t have to, but when did large corporations start worrying about wasteful spending? Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

The good thing for Drummond Group is that there are still 300+ EMR vendors that will need to be certified. In fact, many of the non CCHIT certified EHR companies are likely moving to Drummond Group for EHR certification since CCHIT is giving priority to their existing EHR vendors.

Yes, that’s right. Over the next month and half CCHIT will spend all its time doing a bunch of free EHR certifications while Drummond Group will be making just under $20k for each EHR certification that they do.

One final thought about the fun that is EHR certification. When I recently talked to an EHR vendor that is CCHIT certified and will likely be getting their now free EHR certification, I found it really interesting to learn who from their company was on the CCHIT call. In this case, the EHR vendor’s VP of Marketing was on the call with CCHIT.

Of course, this begs the question why the VP of Marketing would be on a call about EHR certification standards and compliance. Shouldn’t the clinical director be the one that wants to be on that call? I think it sends a compelling message that I’ve been preaching on EMR and HIPAA for a long time. EHR certification is not a benefit to the doctor. EHR certification is not a benefit to the patient. EHR certification is a means for EHR vendors to market their EHR software.

EHR Certification – The Race for First

Posted on September 9, 2010 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.

I have a lot more to say about EHR certification and the battle we’re about to see between Drummond Group and CCHIT for EMR vendors, but I’m about to leave for an interesting conference on meaningful use, EMR and HIE. Although, I did want to just start the conversation on becoming a certified EHR.

It seems like the battle is just beginning to try and secure EHR vendors under a certain certification. One of the competitive differences right now is about speed. Which EHR certification body will be the first to certify an EHR under the ARRA guidelines. It will be a big PR move for the first EHR vendor and should benefit Drummond Group or CCHIT to be first.

From the dates that I’ve heard, Drummond Group seems like they’ll be accepting applications for certification first (near the end of this month). CCHIT will be doing it at the beginning of October. It will be interesting to see how quickly Drummond Group will be able to turn around the EHR certification results.

Plus, one other wrinkle in this area is that CCHIT is giving priority to the EHR vendors that are already CCHIT Certified or Preliminary ARRA certified. This means the other 250+ EHR vendors are being treated as second class citizens. You can guess where that larger part of the EHR market is going for their certification: Drummond Group.