"Modular" May Become the Key Word for EHRs

September 18, 2015 by Vickie Anenberg

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) may be encouraging electronic health record (EHR) vendors and the hospitals that use their systems to opt for greater use of a modular approach to implementing acceptable systems under the provisions of Meaningful Use. Cross Country Staffing suggests that this could benefit those inpatient facilities currently trying to attest Stage 2 in order to take advantage of the remaining federal incentive payments still available before the opportunity for reimbursement expires. At the same time, opting to take a modular approach for future system enhancements or replacement systems may make such complex projects more affordable.

Modern Healthcare has recently posted an article that sheds new light on the increased interest in modular EHRs and their current market penetration. It opens with a brief overview of the latest ONC rule that does appear to promote a modular EHR option.

According to Modern Healthcare, “In the proposed rule, the ONC said it plans to require EHR vendors to improve the interoperability of their systems by specifying they use a Common Clinical Data Set, handle behavioral health data by embracing Data Segmentation for Privacy standards and functionality and drop the popular ‘complete EHR’ testing and certification definition in favor of an all-modular testing and certification scheme … In 2014, there were 1,196 hospitals that used products from 117 vendors in the modular approach in the inpatient setting to meet Stage 2 objectives, according to program data. In comparison, that same year there were 1,638 hospitals that used complete EHRs from 16 vendors in inpatient setting to meet Stage 2.”

Regardless of the approach a healthcare facility may take to meet its EHR objectives, implementing a replacement system or existing system enhancements requires dedicating considerable resources. If sufficient supplemental staff is unavailable, completing such projects can become protracted, and present the potential for gaps in patient safety and quality care.

Cross Country Staffing is prepared to help. We have developed a suite of cost-effective workforce solutions that includes a program to provide supplemental IT staff to help manage EHR/EMR system implementations and enhancements. To fully understand all we have to offer, we invite you to contact a Cross Country Staffing representative. For more than 35 years, Cross Country Staffing has been the long-term partner hundreds of healthcare facilities nationwide depend on to successfully meet their unique staffing challenges. We produce positive results, and we’re ready to earn your trust.