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Health CIO Group Asking CMS, ONC For More EHR Transition Time

The federal government should give healthcare organizations more time before starting the next phase of implementing electronic health records, according to letters from a group of health industry chief information officers.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in separate letters that healthcare providers need 90 days to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs.

Pam McNutt, who sits on CHIME’s policy steering committee, said in a release that preparations for the first stage of EHR implementation also took 90 days, mainly to ensure healthcare providers were using the right fields and reports were accurate.

Stage two of EHR implementation will occur in fiscal year 2014, she said.

ONC should require EHR products be certified to meet clinical quality measures in different medical settings as part of its base certification, CHIME said in its letter.

CMS and ONC should also work together to limit the number of measures in each setting, CHIME added.

By 2014, the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs could have joint EHRs at facilities in San Antonio and the Hampton Roads area in Virginia.

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