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EMR Certification Cheat Sheet by

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2016 Program Requir­ements

October 2015, CMS released a final rule that specifies criteria that eligible profes­sionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to partic­ipate in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The final rule’s provisions encompass 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) as well as Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond.

Functi­onality

EHR products need capabi­lities for a doctor to manage their patients’ health care in an efficient, quality, and safe manner in an electronic format. Some of the broad functi­onality criteria are:
Organizing data – compiling the patient’s medical history, including clinical documents or lab results, as well as any medication or allergies
Receiving and displaying inform­ation – the ability to receive and gather inform­ation from sources outside the practice
Writing orders – ordering medication or other diagnostic tests
Managing workflow – scheduling clinical tasks, managing medica­tions, commun­icating with pharmacies for prescr­iptions
Authorized sharing – managing relations with patients, mainta­ining privacy, coordi­nating with other health care providers for the betterment of the patient
Administrative and billing support – assisting with financial aid and insurance coverage

Compat­ibility

With the advancing and changing of technology on a daily basis, it’s important for EHR products to meet a base of standards to send and receive medical data, as well as being able to adapt and update when necessary. Some broad areas of required compat­ibility are:
Laboratory results – ability to receive and file lab results, whether it’s prelim­inary or a final test, as well as processing those results. The capability to view x-ray images is also needed.
Electronic prescr­ibing – maintain federal standards for sending new prescr­ipt­ions, author­izing refills, ensure that the medication is available, check the patient’s eligib­ility for said medica­tion, and receive medication history from the pharmacy.
Exchanging summary docume­nts – sending and receiving patient medical summaries from outside systems or networks
 

Certif­ication Process

Security

Patients value the privacy of their medical history, and each EHR technology needs the ability to maintain proper security standards. These criteria are:
User authen­tic­ation
Access restricted to the user’s role or contest of care situat­ion
Auditing access and use of records
Encrypting data sent out of the network
Virus and malware protec­tion
Data backup in case of computer loss or compro­mise

Certif­ica­tions Methods

ONC-­aut­horized Certif­ica­tion
The certif­iying agency must be an Accredited Testing Lab and an ONC Authorized Certif­ication Body, to be able to certify both complete EHRs and EHR modules. With this certif­ica­tion, providers can receive incentive payments stemming from the American Recovery and Reinve­stment Act of 2009 if they demons­trate meaningful use of the techno­logy.
EHR Altern­ative Certif­ica­tion
This tailored program assesses the customized EHR technology already installed at health care provider locations. The technology is required to meet the same federal standards as commercial products. This way, providers who create and develop their own techno­logies can still qualify for the ARRA incentives and are both rewarded and encouraged for innova­tion.
Health Inform­ation Exchange (HIE) Compliance Testing Program
A testing program to ensure that systems and networks are able to share inform­ation across organi­zat­ional and state boundaries in a safe, secure manner.
Health IT Framework for Accoun­table Care Organi­zations (ACOs)
This certif­ication determines whether or not the health care provider has the proper Health IT infras­tru­cture needed to work as an accoun­table care organi­zation. It also helps recognize any defici­encies in that infras­tru­cture that would stop providers from being effective.

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