2015 EHR Certification Criteria – What’s Different?

Last month, ONC released a proposed rule for the 2015 edition of EHR certification criteria (published in the Federal Register, February 2014). This is the first time that proposed criteria is not related to any Meaningful Use regulation and compliance is purely voluntary. Developers do not have to change their software if it has already received 2014 certification but the proposed rule might serve as a precursor to what can be expected from future editions.

The 2015 edition focuses on clarifications, adoption of new standards and feedback for the 2017 edition. The ONC has also made it clear that there will be more frequent updates to certification criteria to better enable bug fixes and troubleshooting. The idea of a ‘Complete EHR’ has been removed and doctors can just choose certified modules that best fit their needs. The certification criteria for content and transport have also been separated, reducing expense and development time in states where transport capabilities are already taken care of by government entities.
  
Some of the criteria that have been updated or changed are:
  
1. Drug and Allergy Interaction Checks
The 2015 edition proposes expanding the scope of drug and allergy interaction checks to include whether or not the patient has followed the treatment regimen accurately. The purpose is to identify reasons for nonadherence but raises the question of whether the collected data can actually improve outcomes.The usefulness of such a feature is questionable given that many patients would be reluctant to disclose the actual reasons for not following the doctor’s advice.
  
2. Demographics and clinical decision support
Previous editions focused on noting the preferred written language of the patient which the new edition seeks to change. The emphasis is now on preferred spoken language instead. The proposal also requires EHRs to develop clinical decision support systems that utilize demographic information such as gender or age.
  
3. Viewing and transmitting patient summary
A patient should be able to view and transmit his/her patient summary in human readable or CDA format. The idea is to empower patients by giving them more options regarding how and where they want their health information to be transmitted.
  
4. Clinical Quality Measures
Certified MU software already has the capability to filter patient records based on certain variables. This proposal adds new filtering criteria such as primary and secondary health insurance, ITINs and demographic criteria such as socio-economic status.
  
Dovetail EDR is a 2014 certified, mobile EDR. Our web-based EDR solution enables us to incorporate new features – whether mandated by the ONC or demanded by users – and roll them out to clients as quickly as possible. For additional information, please visit our Meaningful Use Resource page.

  
  
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