Circle Health contracted with one of the biggest players in the EHR market, Cerner, to help orchestrate the health system's Meaningful Use program. In addition to the stability that comes with an established partner, Cerner also has "their own people in DC," Sandager said.
John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said it is important to consider track record when selecting Meaningful Use equipment and an EHR vendor. "Buy only MU Stage 2-certified technology," he said. "KLAS ratings are also helpful. Vendors such as Epic, Athena, eClinicalWorks, and Greenway are low risk."
Based in Orem, UT, KLAS Enterprises LLC provides performance data on a range of healthcare industry vendors.
On the HealthIT.gov website, CMS offers guidance to providers on selecting a Meaningful Use partner. CMS says "most practices" use the following process: developing an initial plan that identifies key electronic health record goals, conducting a vendor assessment to pick an EHR system that supports the provider's goals, and finalizing the EHR plan after a vendor has been chosen.
Once a Meaningful Use program has been launched, setting effective policies and working with physicians are the crucial ingredients to meeting system design deadlines and avoiding compliance problems, Halamka and Sandager both emphasized.
Federal officials have identified the cut-and-paste feature in many EHR systems as a compliance risk, fearing the ability to duplicate elements of patient records could lead to fraud.