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As expected, EMR software usage will need to be stepped up and functionality will need to be added. We encouraged a detailed review of the full Meaningful Use requirements, but you do have until 2014 to stage 2, so if your organization is consumed with Stage 1 at this time, the below highlights will give you sneak peek at what’s coming next.
EMR vendors will be required to get re-certifed as Meaningful Use Certified EHRs, due to some of these changes. The majority of the adjustments are simply increased thresholds applied to the Stage 1 objectives.
Your team will need to consider the current and future objectives your selection process when evaluating options for electronic medical records.
60% of medication, lab, and radiology orders created by the eligible provider are now required to be recorded in the electronic medical record, using computerized physician order entry.
This can be a major workflow change, and there are different schools of thought as to whether this should be implemented at time of the EHR implementation, or if this is more appropriate as a later phase to the implementation.
Entering orders electronically means that when results are returned by interface, they can often be linked automatically to the order that was placed. This is an important functionality aspect to review when comparing EMR software systems. Also, it is ideal to be able to submit the order and enter all the notes regarding the order, directly into the EMR if possible, instead of via a third party tool.
If you’re going to plan on this for your EMR implementation, you might as well take the next steps and initiate plans to be able to send those orders electronically to the receiving facility. The major labs, i.e. Quest and many others, are now able to receive orders electronically. With the outbound orders to the lab, and then incoming results returning to the EHR system, you will have eliminated a paper-intensive process.
65% scripts are compared to at least one drug formulary and transmitted electronically.
This is an increase, but certainly fits in the direction that we have seen the CMS pressing. Most EHRs have this functionality, but again, you may want to determine whether this is accomplished through a 3rd party add on application, or if the system itself can handle eRx submission to SureScripts, etc.
One frustrating aspect of this is that providers are often in a position of prescribing to the pharmacy requesting by the patient, even when that pharmacy has not established the ability to received perscriptions electronically yet. We would expect pressure in the medical community to change this.
80% patients have demographics recorded as structured data in the EMR.
This requirement is somewhat a no-brainer, and there are few EMRs remaining on the market that don’t offer this as a given. When the PM is integrated into the EMR, or independent, this can be eaily accomplished. Quality reporting, patient letters, and much more is dependent on structured demographic data.
Further analysis is underway and will be posted shortly.