It Vendor Survey 2012: Our Survey Explores Electronic Health Record Systems, Plus the Latest Software an Technology Offerings, from 51 Companies Serving Behavioral Health Customers

Behavioral Healthcare Executive, September-October 2012 | Go to article overview

It Vendor Survey 2012: Our Survey Explores Electronic Health Record Systems, Plus the Latest Software an Technology Offerings, from 51 Companies Serving Behavioral Health Customers


Welcome to the 2012 Behavioral Healthcare IT Vendor Survey, our annnual look at the growing range of information technology products and solutions from vendors who serve the behavioral industry.

In 2011, many vendors scrambled to certify their electronic health record systems as a means of demonstrating that their products would support the new set of Stage 1 Meaning Use (MU) measures. At the same time, a growing number of eligible providers (EPs) began the process of qualifying for the incentive funding made available for the adoption and use of certified EHR technology.

EPs who wish to qualify for financial incentives for adopting and using EHRs under terms of The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 must do two things: purchase or use "certified" EHR technology an demonstrate, through three successively more challenging stages, that they are meaningfully using it.

This first step in the incentives qualification process requires only that EPs attest for themselves (or for their employer/agency) that incentive funds will be used to implement a certified EHR. The Stage 1 MU measures, which include 15 "core set" a SO "menu set" measures, were joined on August 23, 2012 by a new, slightly longer list of Stage 2 MU measure.

IT vendors who want to offer certified (incentive eligible) EHR technology must have their products "certified" by an "authorized testing and certification body" that is authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The certification process evaluates the features intended to support meaningful use of the EHR system in one of two settings--Inpatient or Ambulatory--and, if the software "passes" the test, the testing body issues either a "complete" or "modular" certification.

A "complete" certification means that an EHR system (in the version/configuration specified on the certification) has the capability to support all core-set and menu-set requirements for Stage 1 of meaningful use. A "modular" certification means that the software supports at least one of the requirements.

Ultimately, a provider who wants to demonstrate meaningful use has to have a "complete" EHR system. But, there's some flexibility in how to get one. Many providers will opt to buy a "complete" EHR system from a single vendor, but more sophisticated (and IT-rich) organizations can assemble or create their own through a "mix and match" of modular components.

But to qualify for HITECH EHR incentive funds, these "mix and match" systems must also pass certification testing, with testing expenses borne by their owners.

BY THE BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE EDITORIAL STAFF

MORE ONLINE

For an interactive version of the IT Survey, go to www.behavioral.netlitsurvey There, you can link directly to participating vendors, read their self-reported responses to the survey, and sort market, feature and certification data to find products of interest.

Note that the latest EHR product certification status is always found at the "Certified Health IT Product List,"

www.conc-chpLforcea.com/ehrcert.

RELATED ARTICLE: Parts of the 2012 IT Vendor Survey

The 2012 Behavioral Healthcare IT Vendor Survey divides IT vendors' products into two categories: The uppermost list is for those who categorize their major product as an electronic health record (EHR) system. The lower list contains IT products whose functionality serves other vital behavioral health operations.

Both lists then detail:

* Market Segments Served, with numerical codes for various providers, payers, and governmental authorities for whom the system or functionality is intended.

* Platform, which briefly describes the system architecture or platform on which the software operates.

* Clinical Features and Administrative and Financial Features, which includes categories of clinical and administrative functionality, along with symbols indicating the availability of the feature, as reported by the product's developer. …

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