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Costs of EMR Certification for Meaningful Use And Impact on EMR Vendors

Posted on August 19, 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.

Long time readers will know that I’m not a fan of EMR certification. It seems quite pointless since it provides no assurance to the doctor of anything of value. EMR Certification doesn’t ensure a higher implementation success rate. EMR Certification doesn’t improve patient care. EMR Certification doesn’t improve doctor’s bottom line.

With that said, we’re still stuck with the term “certified EHR” in the HITECH Act EMR stimulus money legislation. So, EMR certification is going to be around for the foreseeable future.

CEO Mike from Medscribbler EMR posted an interesting look at the cost of CCHIT EMR Certification and the impact that it could have on EMR vendor selection and long term viability of EMR vendors. I’ve included his comments below:

Note: See my post about whether you have to use a CCHIT Certified EMR vendor before reading Mike’s comments.

Using the CMS’s own data and report a CCHIT EMR will spend between $125,000 to $350,000 in programming costs to be certified (add at least $20,000 for actual certification) An existing EMR not CCHIT certified they predict will spend $175,000 to $700,000 to meet the standards (plus the $20,000.)

Certification has to be done for each year, for three, so a 2011 certification does not guarantee MU certification for 2012.

Self certifying for Open Source are not exempt from requirements so it stands to reason they will have the same expense.

What does this mean:

1. Forget collecting MU with Open Source software.

2. If you are using no CCHIT software it is unlikely the software will be qualified by the vendor.

3. Even fewer EMR vendors will certify than those that did so for CCHIT.

4. Innovation is dead if MU certification becomes generally why an EMR is purchased as this will also set the preception of useability. Vendor design resourcess will go to MU not useability.

5. If MU EMRs fail to get widespread purchase, those EMRs who certify are dead (including some current larger market share ones, as they will undoubtably spend a ton on marketing to maintain their share.) The MU EMRs will also then presummably be left behind by the innovators for useability.

6. Certifying bodies, especially CCHIT may be in trouble because there will be fewer takers, or they will charge a lot more pushing EMR prices up.

7. Regardless everyone is going to pay a lot more for an EMR making the MU payment mote.

Medscribbler could be certified, we are still evaluating this, because there are a lot of CCHIT EMRs now dead in the water – certification is no guarantee of success – we believe useability is – and how do we balance useablity which will guarantee success with certification which may or may not?

EMR and HIPAA Advertisers – Thank You!

Posted on June 16, 2009 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’s that time again to recognize the new additions to the EMR and HIPAA advertising fold. Plus, a couple EMR and HIPAA advertisers have renewed and so I want to thank them as well.

New EMR Advertiser:
InterSystems – This is a really interesting company that works to integrate all your various healthcare application even across large geographic boundaries. Their software powers RHIO in Rhode Island and Long Island and they just recently announced that the Swedish National EHR will use InterSystems Healthshare™ software.

I’m also happy to have renewed EMR and HIPAA’s relationship with Medscribbler. I’m glad that I’ve been able to form some long term relationships with Medscribbler and appreciate their support in keeping the lights on here at EMR and HIPAA. A few other advertisers and renewals are in the works, but that will have to wait at least until next month.

Thanks also to all those who have signed up for the EMR and HIPAA email list, rss feed and those that are following me on Twitter.

We’re in a really exciting time for healthcare IT and electronic health records in particular. I’m glad to be apart of it. I hope I can continue to add value to those who read this site. If there’s something else you’d like me to cover please let me know. Luckily, most of you aren’t shy about telling me when they disagree. I love it when you do. Those are the best chances for myself and others to really learn. Let’s keep the running EMR commentary going.

Medscribbler Announces Open Source Tablet EMR

Posted on April 21, 2009 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 recently became aware of a new open source tablet EMR that was going to be offered by Medscribbler. Everyone that reads this blog should know that I’m a huge fan of open source (see my previous posts about open source EMR). It’s about time that a really strong tablet based EMR software was available as open source software.

Open source EMR purists will probably be a little disgruntled that Medscribbler is built on top of other technologies which are not completely open source. However, I give them a pass for now since the open source community has so far failed to deliver very good tablet based software.

You can find more information about the free Medscribbler EMR software here or at their sourceforge page. The following is the official press release announcement:

Medscribbler is released as an Open Source electronic medical record

Scriptnetics, the leader in Tablet PC mobile healthcare applications, will announce Monday its release of the proprietary source code for Medscribbler electronic medical record, EMR, to the open source community. Installable components and the code for programmers are available at the globally recognized open source portal, Sourceforge.net.

“Releasing a Medscribbler Open Source EMR is the next logical step to drive the innovation that is needed to get to a point where the majority of physicians and other health care providers take up electronic medical records,” said Michael Milne, Chief Executive Officer of Scriptnetics. “We hope to encourage a stable, widely available and affordable entry level EMR that uses cutting edge technology with the mobility of the Tablet PC,” he continued.

To provide focus and stability to move the project forward Scriptnetics has assigned programmers to manage and contribute new programming code on a regular basis. Other programmers wanting to contribute but needing help in understanding the considerable amount of code that already exists can access live help and support. For programmers looking to maximize their skills, project suggestions are posted in a forum.

The new Open Source EMR is called Medscribbler Community and is the first vertical, enterprise level open source project to be designed specifically for handwriting recognition on the Tablet PC. Medscribbler Community is already being used by many healthcare providers both in stand alone computer situations and client server multi computer offices. This cutting edge EMR is also being used in Internet WAN mobile remote access situations.

Scriptnetics is the largest vendor of penable Tablet PC designed medical software in the world. The company’s flagship product, Medscribbler, has been distributed since 2003 and is being used by healthcare providers in the United States and Canada. Its offices are located in Wilmington, Delaware and Moncton, New Brunswick. www.scriptnetics.com and www.medscribbler.com

SourceForge’s web sites connect millions of technology professionals and enthusiasts each day. Combining user-developed content, online marketplaces and e-commerce, SourceForge is the global technology community’s information exchange network and the world’s largest open source software development and distribution environment. Its offices are located in Mountainview, California.

For more information on Medscribbler Community see: www.emrfreesoftware.com and sourceforge.net/projects/medscribbler/

Press Contacts:
Michael Ferguson
Scriptnetics
(506) 859-9271
prnews@scriptnetics.com

Full Disclosure: Medscribbler is a an advertiser on EMR and HIPAA.