Is Your EMR Stimulus Ready?

Posted on December 24, 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.

Brian at new EMR vendor Health Fusion sent me an email discussing some of the posts I’d done about CCHIT certification. In the email, he talked about how many doctors would ask him if his EMR is CCHIT certified. He then told me that his response to those doctors is that it’s not CCHIT certified, but it is is “Stimulus Ready.”

I like the concept of “stimulus ready” instead of certified. First, because I think that CCHIT offers doctors no benefit (as is well documented in my previous CCHIT posts). However, more important is to consider what I think doctors are really asking.

When a doctor asks an EMR vendor if they are CCHIT certified, what they’re really asking is one of two questions (or possibly both).
1. Can you give me some assurance that your EMR vendor has a higher implementation success rate than other EMR vendors? I’ve seen far too many of my colleagues fair or heard stories of too many EMR failures.
2. Can your EMR software get me the HITECH act stimulus money?

The problem is that right now, CCHIT can’t answer either of these questions. The first question they’re likely never going to be able to say with real authority. The second one they are likely to answer at some point, but can’t do yet.

This is why I like the idea of an EMR saying that they are “stimulus ready.” Essentially that means that the EMR vendor is planning to do whatever it takes to get their EMR software certified according to the yet to be released HHS criteria. Let’s hope David Brailer is right and access to the EMR stimulus money will end up being relatively simple.