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First CCHIT Certified 2010 EHR – Badge of Wisdom or Stupidity?

Posted on December 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 got a very short email sent to me to a press release about the first EMR to receive the full CCHIT 2011 Comprehensive Certification. I’m not sure what they wanted me to do with the release, and so I guess I’ll do what I normally do and call it the way I see it.

Does this EHR vendor consider the fact that they’re the first EHR to get the CCHIT 2011 Comprehensive Certification as a badge of wisdom that everyone will applaud? I’m guessing they’ve probably never read my past posts about CCHIT. Otherwise, I’m not sure they would have sent me that press release. However, I think it’s worth asking ourselves whether this was a smart move or a stupid one.

Certainly they’re going to get some coverage because their the first EHR certified. This blog post is proof of that. However, even in the short term will doctors care that they have the “comprehensive” CCHIT certifcation as opposed to the ARRA/HHS certification?

The doctors that I talk to aren’t asking for “comprehensive CCHIT certification.” Instead there asking one (or both) of these questions: “How do I get the EMR stimulus money?” and/or “Is yours a certified EHR?” Of course, half of the doctors out there are actually saying “EMR stimulus money? Huh?” but that’s a topic for another post. The interesting part is that in the next 6 months EHR vendors should be able to answer either of the above questions in the affirmative and never be CCHIT certified at all (see Drummond Group EHR Certification as one example).

If my above assumption is correct, then most doctors could care less about CCHIT “comprehensive” EHR certification. Then, that also means that the first EHR vendor to be fully “CCHIT Certified 2011 Ambulatory EHR” is going to look pretty silly having spent a TON of money on certification and development time to be certified. Imagine the great features that could have been developed with that money instead of being spent on a meaningless certification.

Another Example Why Small EHR Companies Face Tough Challenges

Posted on May 27, 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.

No doubt many small EHR companies have been looking at themselves in the mirror long and hard and asking themselves how they’re going to survive this rough market. Not only did the HITECH act slow purchasing of EHR systems, but between “certified EHR” and “meaningful use” many are questioning where the small EHR vendor will fit into the EHR market.

I could (and probably will at some point) expound on each of the topics above, but I think that EHR vendors have an even more difficult challenge on their hands. The challenge comes in the form of incredibly large number of marketing dollars and splashy partnerships.

Here’s just one simple example of what I’m talking about. It was just announced that HEALTHeLINK, The Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, now has formal agreements in place with Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, McKesson, MedAppz, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems and Pulse Systems. [Hailing out of Buffalo, I’d love to meet up with the people at HEALTHeLINK sometime when I’m visiting family in the area.]

I’m not sure how much of an impact this particular partnership will have on EHR adoption in upstate New York. However, that’s not really my point. My point is that this is just one small example of a partnership that the “big boy” EHR companies are going to use to market their product. Consider that the marketing budget for these large EHR companies is quite possibly larger than some smaller EHR companies entire budgets. That’s pretty formidable.

I’m not saying that small EHR companies should close their doors and stop competing. In fact, I hope just the opposite happens. I’m all for innovation and the most innovative products usually come from small companies who have to be innovative to survive. I’m just saying that these small EHR companies better come ready to fight. It’s not going to be a pretty couple months in the EHR industry. Only the strong will survive.

Of course, all is not lost for small EHR vendors that survive. Assuming EHR implementation failure rates continue at their current dismal rates, then there will be a tremendous opportunity for a number of companies to take care of those who fail to implement unusable EHR systems.

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