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EMR Incentive Center

FAQs About EMR Certification

What do you need to know about EMR Product Certification?

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What do you need to know about EMR Product Certification?

The mechanisms of safety for electronic medical records in terms of both patient diagnosis and the security of their health records is one of the main elements that electronic medical records companies design into their software systems.

The reduction of medical errors represents a benefit to both patient and doctor.

An electronic medical health records arena of information sharing within a medical practice naturally reduces unwanted hand transcribed errors. The problem of lost or misplaced patient files is also eliminated.

These advantages of EMR help produce a marked increase in the health related safety of patients and patient welfare.

In addition, electronic medical records and patient care are synonymous in that such systems easily enable constraints to be placed upon end users’ access to particular patient information.

This personal security aspect is also important to meeting a patient’s privacy concerns.

 

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Providers should verify EMR vendor commitment to ONC-ATCB certification

While there are 580 ONC-ATCB 2014 Edition Certified complete EMR products on the market to date, there are easily more than twice that number of EMR products on the market in general. The lesson here is that not every vendor has the resources or desire to certify its software through an ONC-ATCB. Providers interested in implementing EMR for the first time, and providers already using an EMR, should check with their current vendor to verify that their EMR is certified and that continuing certification requirements will be met.

The first two years of the CMS EHR Incentive Program focus on a set of fifteen core and a choice of five menu set requirements, selected from a list of ten possible, providers need to meet, called Stage 1 Meaningful Use. Stage 1 is intended to focus on the electronic capture of health info and use of that info to track key clinical conditions, communicate data for improved care coordination and report clinical quality measures and public health information. The next two years of the program consists of seventeen core objectives and three menu set objectives selected from a list of six possible menu objectives, called Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Stage 2 focuses on exchange and access to health information, moving beyond simple data collection to start using the data in broad ways to reform healthcare quality, efficiency and patient safety. Additionally, in Stage 2, providers will be required to track and submit data on nine Clinical Quality Measures from a list of 64 in order to attest to meeting Meaningful Use. The conditions for attestation for the final two years of the program, Stage 3, are still being compiled. This last stage of Meaningful Use is set to begin in 2016.

In order to successfully meet each stage of the CMS EHR Incentive Program, vendors will need to certify their EMR products with the most up to date edition. Providers should secure commitment from their vendor that the EMR will be certified throughout all stages of Meaningful Use.

Benefits of Electronic Medical Records Systems

Electronic medical records systems represent all the various aspects within a medical practice that work as a whole to form a functioning system that more effectively cares for patients and benefits the medical practice.

Although the software platform is a major and vital leg of any electronic medical records system, there are other important pieces.

The many components of a well-established electronic medical records system include the software, coordination procedures between departments for the transfer and reception of information, organizational rules within the office for personnel use and established plans for continuing education and training by medical staff.

Registering for a program and proving meaningful use of a certifed EMR

Eligible providers interested in securing incentive program reimbursement will need to prove (attest to) the use of an EMR certified by an ONC-ATCB. Proving the use of a certified system, will require providers to simply access the ONC Certified Health IT Products List website and use the site search for their EMR. Providers will then use the website to generate a code, called the CHPL Code, which the provider will enter into their online CMS program registration application. Providers may register for an incentive program even if they are not currently using a certified EMR; simply leave the CHPL Code field in the application blank. Providers may access their CMS EHR Incentive Program registration at any time to update the field when they are working with a certified EMR and ready to begin the attestation phase to request reimbursement.

If you are already a MicroMD EMR client

MicroMD EMR Versions 9.0, 10.0 and 10.5 have achieved 2014 Edition Complete Ambulatory EHR ONC Health IT Certification, clients may enter their CHPL Code in their registration now even if they are not currently upgraded to the certified version. Click here to access the MicroMD EMR “CMS” EHR Certification ID”.

A final word on certification...providers need to be engaged

While an EMR needs to be ONC-ATCB certified to verify that it features the required functionality to help providers meet Meaningful Use, it is up to the individual provider to use the EMR in a meaningful way. EMR is simply a tool to help providers achieve Meaningful Use. Eligible providers and staff must make the commitment to ensure that the EMR is used in the required meaningful way, consistently. A strong EMR implementation plan can help overcome the challenges of provider adoption and promote ongoing meaningful use. Successful implementation of your certified EMR software will involve more than just installing the software and training on how to use the wealth of standard features. Implementation to ensure achievement of Meaningful Use will require specific training in Meaningful Use functionality and the monitoring of users to ensure they are doing what will be required of for incentive program attestation and the delivery of reimbursement.