EHR Products Gain Government OK
The recent government approval ofthe first electronic health record (EHR)products keeps the United States ontrack for its goal of having EHRs for allAmericans by 2014. The nonprofitCertification Commission for HealthcareInformation Technology (CCHIT) has certified20 EHR products. These productsmust allow physicians to enter an orderfor an electronic prescription andrecord a laboratory result, according tothe group.
Mark Leavitt, chairman of CCHIT, saidthat the products will have to be able tosend the data to a pharmacy and receivea lab result by next year. Currently, hospitalsor clinics that use EHRs mainly cannotshare data outside their own systems.The physicians who purchase certifiedproducts face less chance that theseproducts will not work with others or willquickly become obsolete, Leavitt added.
EHRs—and the ability to share patientdata across different networks—wouldenhance care, reduce medical errors, andlower costs, according to Health andHuman Services Secretary MichaelLeavitt (no relation to Mark Leavitt). Hecalled the drive for adoption of healthcare technology the "most importantthing happening in health care."