CodoniX statement on the EMR “Meaningful Use” requirement in the Stimulus Plan
As everyone is aware, the Obama administration has set aside a large fund to encourage the use of EMRs starting in 2011. The current wording of the legislation is that an EMR must meet the requirement of "Meaningful use". At the moment this is an area of intense debate and HIMSS has waded into the debate suggesting that CCHIT should be the certifying body.
The Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society has released two definitions for "meaningful use" of certified electronic health records technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/stimulus-28127-1.html
It is important to note that the anticipated rules have not yet been promulgated and it is likely that great emphasis will be placed on practice based Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) an area that CodoniX is especially strong. See below for an excerpt from the HIMSS discussion
For physicians, HIMSS recommends in the first phase an EHR infrastructure that includes clinical data display and CPOE with "independent licensed practitioners" entering the order. "The vast majority of orders emanating from an ambulatory practice are medications, laboratory testing or consultative requests," according to the recommendations. "For electronic prescribing, CPOE must be operational within the EHR."
In a recent series of articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine it is unclear what body will oversee these regulations. It does appear that Dr. David Blumenthal from Harvard University will play a critical role
According to the Journal, it will "fall largely" on Blumenthal to establish the certification criteria.
The Certification Commission for Healthcare IT currently certifies EHR systems now available on the market, based on whether they are interoperable and have certain functions.
However, Blumenthal said that having certain functions is not enough. He added, "We need to ensure that physicians can actually use it."
CCHIT Chair Mark Leavitt said the group is considering a revision of the certification criteria to include users' experiences.
According to the Journal, the stimulus bill does not indicate whether CCHIT will be responsible for providing EHR certification.
Blumenthal declined to comment on the group's role in the system certification process (Goldstein, Wall Street Journal, 4/21). http://www.ihealthbeat.org/Articles/2009/4/21/Blumenthal-Prepares-To-Tackle-Hurdles-in-National-EHR-Effort.aspx?topic=ONC
From this discussion it is not clear that CCHIT will be the governing body. Furthermore the requirements have not been defined, so there is no EHR that can claim compliance or even claim to know the regulations. We at CodoniX are monitoring this debate closely and are committed to meeting the requirements of 'meaningful use' once they have been formulated.