Vendors race to certify their applications to ensure certification by 2011 and meet Meaningful Use requirements. Have doctor’s (i.e., potential customers of these EMR/EHR applications) shifted the requirements from new, innovative functionality for their practice and patients to a focus more on how to gain access to the Federal stimulus money?
One could argue that the government, along with the certification commission, have determined which pieces of the standards and requirements for interoperability and functionality every vendor must provide to a customer. This is now done in conjunction with “Meaningful Use” requirements to ensure stimulus money will be accessible by the doctors. The thought is that a certified EMR/EHR will lead to better patient care and lower costs, yet I wonder if this has stalled innovation somehow.
While speaking to people in the industry, this question comes up frequently, and vendors seem to have shifted their focus to make their software certifiable, although their customers may not find it “meaningful.” The result: losing the focus on innovation which set vendors apart. There are many niche vendors with great innovative software who do not fit into the current certification program or simply do not have the funds to alter their software to meet the general requirements. Will doctor’s using software from those vendors sacrifice functionality that fits them to get the incentive money instead?
I am interested to start a discussion on this topic as I am sure many of you have great points on this topic.
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