DENVER, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado physicians confused about which electronic health record (EHR) system to buy can turn to the Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC), which today announced its list of 14 approved EHR integration products.
CO-REC is an initiative of six organizations led by CORHIO, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization. CO-REC's selected vendors have ONC-ATCB certified EHR products that meet a series of rigorous technical and cost criteria.
Two-thirds of Colorado physicians have not yet installed or begun using EHRs in their medical practices. A federal program that pays health care providers to use health information technology to achieve specific improvements in care kicks off on January 3. This incentive program is prompting many physicians to purchase, implement and "meaningfully use" EHRs.
CO-REC and CORHIO developed this list to help physicians as they sort through the sometimes frustrating process of vendor and product selection.
"There are hundreds of EHR systems to choose from," said CO-REC Director Robyn Leone. "Yet it's not clear exactly how systems compare or what buyers get for their money. Our vendor and product selection process emphasized transparency, accountability and cost containment, so that physicians know what they're buying."
Further, CO-REC's selected products provide everything a physician needs to meet current meaningful use criteria as well as to be well positioned for future, more advanced criteria.
"Picking an EHR system is a personal and business decision that's unique for each practice," Leone continued. "We urge doctors to do their homework but know that our selected vendors have met common, predefined technical and cost criteria."
Already, the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is certifying health information technology providers. These providers must meet certain standards. CO-REC and CORHIO incorporated those federal standards and went beyond them to develop requirements specifically focused on Colorado providers' needs.
CO-REC began by identifying optimal requirements for an EHR, such as being able to integrate lab and hospital data as well as connect to the CORHIO and Quality Health Network Health Information Exchanges. Next, each vendor completed a comprehensive 14-page application requiring detailed information on technical functionality requirements. CO-REC and CORHIO staff then followed up with multiple one-on-one vendor interviews to further clarify system functionality. Finally, vendors agreed to offer reasonable prices for integration services.
Traditionally, prices for linking a practice's EHRs to a health information exchange have varied significantly. With its approved vendors, CO-REC has negotiated reasonable fees for this service, and those prices are available to all Colorado physicians.
"There's continued debate about health care reform and how much reform should move forward," said Dr. Lynn Parry, former president, Colorado Medical Society. "So it's essential to separate the use of electronic health records from the reform debate.
"The federal government's interest and consumers' needs in getting health providers to exchange health information and improve outcomes is a fact of life, with key deadlines on the horizon," she continued. "To avoid being penalized, providers must select an EHR platform and get started on the road to integration."
Approved EHR integration products are:
12/2010 - 9.0
Aprima Medical Software
Centricity Practice Solution
Greenway Medical Technologies
NextGen Ambulatory EHR
Sage Intergy EHR
2011 Pulse Complete EHR
Because EHR technology is improving rapidly, and the certification process is ongoing, CO-REC will re-evaluate this list of current vendors periodically to ensure they are meeting the necessary requirements and will add new vendors from time to time as needed.
About CORHIO and CO-REC
As the state-designated entity for health information exchange, CORHIO collaborates with health care stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, clinics, public health organizations, long-term care providers, laboratories, health plans and patients to develop secure systems and processes for sharing clinical information. CO-REC, a CORHIO initiative with six other organizations, assists primary care providers in adopting, implementing and becoming meaningful users of electronic health record systems. CORHIO is a not-for-profit supported by grants from The Colorado Health Foundation and from federal ARRA HITECH funds. For more information about CORHIO, please visit www.corhio.org.