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A CCHIT Vendor’s Take on Potential Impacts of the HITECH Act

Posted on March 11, 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.

As most people know, I’m always open to guest posts from everyone and anyone that can provide a thoughtful perspective on a subject.  In the following guest post, Charlie Jarvis, AVP at NextGen, shares some of his thoughts on the HITECH act’s impacts.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this guest post, but I do believe that Charlie’s description of the “ambivalent” EMR buyer seems to be pretty accurate.  This will be a major challenge we need to overcome.  I’m hoping to follow up this post with an interview of Charlie.

Thanks Charlie!

As the national debate over the economic recovery plan and specifically the entire stimulus package continues, the HITECH sections of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) may be “relatively” less controversial to the American public than other sections of this law But HITECH may wind up being just as important as other more visible pieces of this law-and central to the discussion around health care reform. HITECH will drive EMR adoption as we all know. But what does this really mean, beyond the sheer massive amounts of money being thrown at this effort?

I contend that HITECH is going to “stimulate” the following actions in our health care sector, beyond the obvious ones of job creation and expanded health care automation:

  • the evolution of coordinated care (among independent doctors), around the individual patient- a concept known as patient –centered care
  • a focus on true quality of care outcomes, and the necessary paradigm shift in physician behavior to a focus on the health care outcomes of patients rather than simply the results of individual treatments or procedures
  • the necessity of independent small (1-5) physician practices to either consider joining with their hospital, creating larger independent groups, or affiliating with an IPA or other such organization that can support their technology needs going forward; their ability to remain independent will suffer dramatically (an after many economic activities in the past have failed to unite doctors, this one appears to be able to have that effect)

All of these actions are going to challenge the medical practitioner to adopt a new view of their practice and indeed of medicine in general. And all of us who support physicians are likewise challenged with the responsibility to support physicians through this potentially overwhelming process. Our job is to focus not on independent opportunity for success in this new model but rather to understand and accept our role in helping reform care achieve its intended goal- the improved health care service to the patient, at a price they or their insurance carrier can afford.

While there is a great deal of excitement among many with the availability of incredible amounts of money to support HIT adoption, we must remember that a large portion of the medical community is viewing this “technology explosion” as something being forced upon them rather than an action that they enthusiastically embrace. And in an environment where the right EHR product is not always obvious (the government’s definition of certified HIT products and issuance of a certified HIT product list is not ready yet although everything points to CCHIT remaining their certifying body), we have a potentially disenchanted and ambivalent “buyer”.

And this purchasing “ambivalence” does not even begin to address the concern most doctors have over the fact that how they will be judged as caregivers in the future, will be largely dependent on reports of data which they will be required to capture and report. (And finally, if that is not enough, their ability to automate successfully will be published on the government’s health website for all the population to see.)

This may be an exciting and tremendously opportunistic time for America to reform its health care system- but the automation plan is going to have it’s challenges. We had better be up to it as a team!!

Charlie Jarvis
Assistant Vice President Health Services and Government Relations
NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc.

CCHIT 2008 Ambulatory EHR Certifications

Posted on October 15, 2008 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.

UPDATE: Read more about CCHIT on EMR and HIPAA.

Since I’m so interested in the EMR and EHR space, I’m always interested when the new list of companies is published of who has passed the CCHIT Ambulatory EHR certification. Not because I think the certification really means much. I’m more interested to see which EMR companies are spending the money to become and maintain certification.

Take a look at the list:
Community Computer Service Inc.
MEDENT 18

eClinicalWorks
eClinicalWorks 8.0

Epic Systems Corporation
EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2008

Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc.
PrimeSuite 2008

McKesson Provider Technologies
Practice Partner 9.3

MedLink International, Inc
MedLink TotalOffice 3.1

MedPlexus, Inc.
MedPlexus EHR 9.2.0.0

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc.
NextGen EMR 5.5.27

Pulse Systems
Pulse Patient Relationship Management 4.1

VIP Medicine LLC
SmartClinic 16

Interesting that only 10 companies are on the list considering the over 400 EMR companies I have listed. Plus, I’m sure my list is not complete by any means. That’s another project I’m working on that I hope to announce in the not so distant future.

Doesn’t certifying only 2.5% of the EMR companies out there pretty much make that certification useless. I hope people aren’t being wowed by the certification. I’m also not saying that all of the EHR companies on the list are bad “jabba the hut” EHR companies either. My point is to remind people that CCHIT certification doesn’t test usability of a system. So, EHR buyer be ware!!

I also love how most of the EHR companies listed have a child health component. I wonder if most of those on the list just did the certification this year so they could get the child health EHR certification. Hard to rely deny the marketing value of saying CCHIT compliant.

I’d love to hear from any of these EHR vendors that are CCHIT 2008 Ambulatory EHR certified. I’d be happy to dedicate a guest post from those interested in listing their reasons for paying all that money for this EHR certification.

See also the following at the EMR/EHR and HIPAA wiki:
CCHIT Certified 2006 Ambulatory EHRs
CCHIT Certified 2007 Ambulatory EHRs
CCHIT Certified 2008 Ambulatory EHRs