Pass – Fail EHR Certification is Meaningless

Posted on April 22, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 current pass fail EHR certification model just feels wrong. Everyone who submits to their tests passes. This gives doctors the impression that every EMR vendor that passes their certification has the same functions. Of course, we all know that this is just not the case. There are good and bad certified EHR.

Let me ask you this, why not just publish exactly which criteria passed/failed and possibly even some commentary on why they passed or failed. Then, the criteria could include things like growth charts. Most EHR would want to fail this one while every pediatric EHR would want to make sure it passed with flying colors. In fact, maybe it should not even be a pass/fail for the criteria, but a ranking from 1-10 on how well they implemented this feature.

The amazing thing that could happen with this type of criteria specific rating of EHR software is that doctors and practice managers would receive valuable information about an EHR software. In fact, this would actually engender some discussion and learning for the doctor interested in using the EHR.

I’m sure that some might argue that doctors and those looking for an EHR don’t want to spend all this time looking through a large set of criteria. However, this is where either a qualified consultant can step in and just provide them the specific results that are of interest to their clinic. At the end of the day, the doctor is getting ready to spend thousands of dollars on an EHR system that will be the heart of their practice.

If a doctor doesn’t want to spend the time researching such an expensive and important decision, then that’s their prerogative. However, I believe that many will do the research, but currently they have things like pass/fail criteria which give them a false sense of security when selecting an EHR.