CHIME leaders are concerned that hospitals aren’t prepared to submit accurate and complete quality data via EHRs.
In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the organization said it supports efforts to create a standardized system for electronic clinical quality measurement (CQM) and align EHR-based reporting and hospital quality reporting programs. However, CHIME believes that current technology and workflow burdens make accurate and complete quality data reporting through the EHR nearly impossible.
“CHIME has long-advocated for HHS to take a lead role in CQM harmonization – extending through (1) the specific CQM, (2) how the CQM is reported, and (3) to whom it is reported,” the organization stated in response to an RFI issued by CMS on hospital and vendor readiness to submit electronic quality data as part of the Inpatient Quality Data Reporting (IQR) program.
“While we are encouraged by recent efforts by CMS, AHRQ and others, we worry that workflow and technology implications of complete and accurate electronic quality reporting are not fully understood. Data used by abstractors are often found in dictated reports or free form progress notes, not as structured data in the electronic health record. And it has been the experience of our members that without making the entire record structured, discreet data or having mature text recognition software in place, one cannot extract all the data needed on every patient to create accurate quality metrics,” it stated.
CHIME also commended CMS for establishing a volunteer pilot program for hospitals to submit CQM data electronically as part of the EHR Incentive Payments program, rather than through attestation. CHIME urged CMS to seek ways to expand the program to more hospitals and use the results obtained by pilot participants to further inform hospital and vendor readiness of EHRs to support IQR.
“CHIME believes that such harmonization with regards to CQMs is overdue – and we believe that the time to leverage such a focus on electronic CQM development and reporting is now,” the organization wrote.
To access the full text of CHIME’s letter to CMS, click here.