When it comes to Meaningful Use and optometry EHR software there are a lot of terms and acronyms thrown around. Some you might know and understand, others you might not. So we want to break down the basics of a few terms that are important for you to know and understand when moving forward with Meaningful Use. Today, we're going to break down the differences between EMR and EHR, and modular and complete EHR certification.
Understanding the Basics of Optometry EHR
EMR stands for electronic medical record. EMRs are medical records that include all health documentation for one patient covering all services from only one provider. As an OD, you have would an EMR for one patient, and that patient's primary care provider would in turn have a separate EMR for that same patient, and so on for each of that patient's specific healthcare providers.
EMRs allow you to track data over time, identify patients for screenings and check-ups, check how patients are doing against certain parameters, and monitor and improve their quality of care within your practice.
EHR stands for eletronic health record. EHRs are electronic versions of each of your patient's health records. And, instead of having cabinets full of paper records, you can store all of this information for all of your patients in an EHR software.
The terms EHR and EMR are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between the two. EHRs give you a higher level of interoperability beyond that of EMRs. EHRs allow patient information to be shared easily, and securely, across healthcare specialties to provide a higher level of coordinated patient care. The ability to share this information across specialties will save both you and your patient time, and provide a more cohesive healthcare experience.
EHR software is the tool you'll need in your practice if you choose to participate in The Meaningful Use Incentive Program. The purpose of the Incentive Program is to encourage healthcare providers to use EHR technology. So when it comes to using EHR software to participate in the Incentive Program you have two choices, complete or modular certified EHRs.
- Complete Certification is given to a practice management and EHR system that has been approved to give you all of the capabilities needed, as an OD, to successfully attest to Meaningful Use. When it comes to EHR certification, many systems were certified back in 2011, but at the start of 2014 the certification on these systems expired, and all systems have to be re-certified to meet the new 2014 criteria.
- Modular Certification is given to software that has been approved to give you the capabilities needed to successfully attest to certain measures of Meaningful Use. Going the modular route instead of purchasing a complete certified system, in order to attest to Meaningful Use can be a lot to take on. It's your responsibility to purchase and integrate all of the modules that can complete all of the Meaningful Use objectives. This could end up being costly and time-consuming to train all of your staff on different systems. But on the other hand, you get the freedom to choose the vendor of your choice for each application.
Want more explanation of optometry EHR and Meaningful Use terms you may not know? Check out our resource, A Complete Eyecare Practice Management and EHR Dictionary!