Certification and vendors guarantees to achieve it are little help when choosing products that will qualify for HITECH payments, according to a recently published research note entitled, “The Limits of Certification and Guarantees in Buying Electronic Health Records in the U.S.” by Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Wes Rishel, a member of the HIT Standards Committee.
Among the note’s key findings:
- Certification ostensibly ensures that a care delivery organization (CDO) can achieve meaningful use if it implements and uses EHR technology properly. However, it is likely that the federal certification program will only evaluate nominal functional capabilities in this regard.
- CDOs will frequently need more than one product to fully meet certification and meaningful-use requirements. Certification provides no assurance that multiple products will work together.
- Most vendors that offer guarantees with respect to the ARRA incentive program only guarantee that their products will be certified.
- Do not use certification as a proxy for a thorough product selection, even if this might imply a delay in achieving meaningful use.
- Look for additional certification or third-party implementation services that provide greater assurance that a product is capable of providing a successful implementation.
- When vendors offer guarantees of being certified, ensure that such guarantees apply to future software releases and future certification criteria.