As of today there are >110 certified ONC-ATCB complete EHRs listed on the ONC Certified health it product list (http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert). As a continuous student of Health IT (I have been in healthcare for over 20 years) I invested a few hours to briefly review every EHR system listed on the 2011\2012 ONC-ATCB complete certification list (as of 1/5/11). During this review I identified the website, phone number, city/state of each ONC-ATCB certified EHR as well as provided a few notes (e.g. EHR for a particular specialty of medicine). I applaud ONC for clarifying the standards for certification and providing one certified product list. About 20% of the certified products state on their product website claim that they are specialized to a particular specialty of medicine vs. a system for all specialties of medicine. Medicine is such a complicated field with wide variations on the function of each specialty. Currently, specialty EHR systems that achieved ONC-ATCB certification include:
- Pediatrics (1 system – physicianXpress)
- Ophthalmology/optometry (7 systems)
- Urgent care (1 system)
- Mental health (1 system),
- Orthopedics (1 system)
- Urology (2 systems)
- Oncology (2 systems)
- Podiatry (1 system)
- OBGYN (1 system),
- Radiology (1 system)
- Emergency medicine (1 system)
- Cardiology (2 systems)
- College health (1 system)
- Plastic surgery (1 system).
If you have an internal medicine or multiple-specialty group, there are over 80 systems that are generalist for all areas of Medicine.
Where does a provider start? If you practice in one particular field of medicine (e.g. Pediatrics), recommend first evaluating the ONC-ATCB certified EHR systems in that specialty. These vendors spend 100% of their time optimizing the system for your specialty as well as staying up to date on the changes in that specialty. If there are multiple vendors with E.H.R. products in that specialty, look at each system.
Some vendors have not stayed up to date on the new technology and are trying to update ‘dated’ technology to meet the functional requirements. Unlike consumer electronics where it is usually easy to evaluate if a vendor has been investing significant money and years of time on Research in new technology, it is more difficult in the field of Health IT. Some vendors spend the majority of their time, money and focus on optimizing the revenue stream from their legacy systems. Their sales team promotes how many systems they have installed (usually include all the ‘dated’ systems). If we compare this to the consumer electronic world, it would be like a company that sells the old picture tube television stating that there are more picture tube televisions installed in the market than flat screens (plasma, LCD) – although this sales tactic usually does not work in consumer electronics, Health IT vendors have had good success quoting the number of installs (no matter how dated the technology).
The business and medical rules in medicine change continuously. For this reason, a system used for revenue cycle management and EHR should be ‘fluid’ and update continuously. Systems built on ‘old’ client server technology are not ‘fluid’ due to the system design (updates need to be scheduled and can be disruptive). This is why each industry (including Healthcare) is heavily focused in cloud computing. Look at all the major software companies to see that cloud computing is their focus. If you are interested to receive a copy of the excel file that lists the certified products as well as the contact information and focus of EHR, feel free to e-mail me at Ken@physicianxpress.com.