Do EMR and Practice Management systems really improve efficiency or was it a trick?

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New and seasoned Practice Managers and Physicians know that handling the day to day tasks of running a medical practice can be time consuming. Administrative tasks and responsibilities have increased with ever-changing government regulations, Medicare laws, and legal concerns.  Efficiency appears to be a losing battle, and stressful workflows take a toll on delivering compassionate patient care. A paperless office was presented as a time and cost saving endeavor that would lead to better patient care. Or was it a trick?

Sound familiar?

A polished representative came to the office to demonstrate their EMR, Practice Management, and Medical Billing system. You were convinced, “this is the solution, what a relief, Ah…!” Thousands of dollars and countless hours spent on implementation and training. Finally, the “go live” date arrived. Then, reality hit; the staff forgot how to upload documents, the doctor was in the exam room trying unsuccessfully to view an MRI with the patient, and you frantically tried to fix the issues. The workflow stopped as panic took over. You finally phoned customer support and you were placed on hold. “Ugh,” you began to question…”How much longer will the learning curve actually take?”  “Did I make the right system selection?” “Why did I try to improve efficiency?” “It really wasn’t that bad and where is that polished sales person now?”

Continue reading: Do EMR and Practice Management systems really improve efficiency or was it a trick?

MEDHOST Announces EDIS Version 4.2 is ONC-ATCB Certified by Drummond Group

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ADDISON, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MEDHOST, provider of leading healthcare throughput and emergency department software, today announced that MEDHOST EDIS (Emergency Department Information System) version 4.2 has been tested and certified under Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records ONC-ATCB program. Drummond Group Inc. is an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) that provides meaningful use certification for EHR systems and applications. When a complete EHR system or EHR module(s) is certified by Drummond Group, the eligible providers and hospitals can use this certified EHR technology as part of their criteria for qualifying for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) incentive payments.

“We were glad to see the final criteria’s inclusion of ED order entry because with the volume of orders placed in the ED, our Customers will be able to meet the Stage 1 requirements more easily.”

“Our Customers continually experience improved patient care and safety, as well as streamlined operations when utilizing MEDHOST’s EDIS, and now that MEDHOST EDIS version 4.2 is ONC-ATCB certified they can further leverage the system’s many tools, such as order entry, to qualify for ARRA funds,” said Craig Herrod, president of MEDHOST. “We were glad to see the final criteria’s inclusion of ED order entry because with the volume of orders placed in the ED, our Customers will be able to meet the Stage 1 requirements more easily.”

In addition to Order Entry, Customers can leverage other features in MEDHOST’s easy-to-use EDIS to meet Stage 1 requirements. For instance, clinicians can easily document patient demographics and vital signs, including BMI and growth charts, all of which are included in the core set of Stage 1 requirements. And because the EDIS drives clinicians to specific patient care criteria based on the patient’s chief complaint, age and gender, hospitals can use it to satisfy the clinical decision support requirement. Also, the EDIS’s Continuity of Care Document (CCD), which enables hospitals to seamlessly integrate a patient’s ED information into their other systems, fulfills the electronic copy of health information requirement and makes patient information more accessible. These and other MEDHOST EDIS features not only improve patient care and safety, but the clinician-friendly design also helps hospitals promote clinician adoption and create a more complete EHR.

“Drummond Group has over ten years of software testing experience in several industries and we are pleased to bring that experience to the HIT marketplace. It is a privilege to carry out testing and certification in Electronic Health Records for HHS,” says Rik Drummond, CEO Drummond Group Inc.

“We truly are excited that our Customers can now leverage MEDHOST EDIS to qualify for ARRA funds, in addition to receiving the operational benefits that MEDHOST delivers,” said Herrod. “Helping our Customers qualify for these funds was a driving force behind MEDHOST seeking certification, and we look forward to assisting our Customers as they continue to harness the power of healthcare IT to improve patient care.”

MEDHOST currently serves more than 200 facilities, including large IDNs, rural and suburban hospitals, and several academic facilities across the U.S. MEDHOST easily integrates with leading hospital information systems, including MEDITECH, Cerner, Siemens and McKesson, Eclipsys, CPSI and HMS.

About MEDHOST, Inc.

MEDHOST is dedicated to advancing healthcare IT by developing user-friendly software solutions that improve productivity and throughput, as well as enhance the patient care experience. The MEDHOST product suite has been adopted by leading institutions throughout North America and has proven to dramatically improve house-wide patient flow, financial performance and patient satisfaction. MEDHOST’s OpCenter is an executive decision-support system that provides hospital leaders with real-time information, so they can proactively manage high-level issues that impact throughput, patient satisfaction and resource utilization. MEDHOST EDIS version 4.2 is certified under Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records ONC-ATCB program and includes real time Patient Tracking, Nurse Charting, Physician Documentation, Order Entry and comprehensive reporting. MEDHOST’s ED Pass kiosk enables self check-in, automatically screens for high-risk conditions and feeds information into the MEDHOST EDIS to expand visibility to the waiting room and improve patient safety. Care Clock, MEDHOST’s latest technology, enables hospitals to utilize information from the EDIS and post current ED wait times on their website so patients can make more informed decisions about where to seek care for non-urgent problems. MEDHOST is headquartered in Addison, Texas.

Practice Fusion Announces 5 Million Patient Milestone at User Conference

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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Practice Fusion, the fastest growing EMR community in the US, kicked off its first user conference last Friday with several major announcements from CEO Ryan Howard including milestones around the company’s growth.  Just three years after the free, web-based EMR’s launch, the company now serves 50,000 medical professionals and 5 million patients.  Practice Fusion’s growth has accelerated so that the company is now adding more than half a million patients to the system each month.

“We’re growing faster than ever,” said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, on stage at Practice Fusion Connect 2010.  “There is tremendous strength in our numbers. We now reach almost 2 percent of the US population, making us the third largest EMR community behind the VA and Kaiser.  We are creating a revolutionary transition in the delivery of care of in the US, one free EHR account at a time.”

In addition to the 5 million patient announcement, highlights from the user conference included:

  • Detailed discussion of Practice Fusion’s ONC-ATCB certification as an EHR Module, a first step toward ensuring users can apply for $44,000 in Meaningful Use incentives
  • Previews of upcoming iPad, iPhone and Android mobile availability for the EMR
  • Plans for using Practice Fusion’s API to connect at-home medical devices to the EMR
  • Information about the Microsoft Windows Azure MarketPlace partnership to offer a free set of de-identified health information to researchers
  • Announcements of new lab integrations and feature enhancements coming in 2011
  • Deep dive sessions covering practical tips for billing and practice management
  • One-on-one training sessions for users throughout the day
  • Photo and video booth where the community shared their perspective on the EMR

Practice Fusion Connect 2010 was held at Fort Mason in San Francisco on November 5.  The free user conference brought together doctors, nurses, practice managers and other medical professionals from across the country to share insight into Practice Fusion’s free EMR system.  Conference sponsors included Kareo, CollaborateMD, ReachMD, MD Secretary, Medical Billing, Digital Island and iMD.

Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to physicians.  With charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, billing, lab integrations, referral letters, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion’s EMR addresses the complex needs of today’s healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo.  Practice Fusion is the fastest growing EMR community in the country with more than 50,000 users.  For more information on Practice Fusion, please visit practicefusion.com.

This EHR Module is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments. Practice Fusion was certified October 18, 2010, Certification ID number 10182010-9527-1, for Clinical Quality Measures: 170.302 (c), 170.302 (d) 170.302 (e), 170.302 (f)(1), 170.302 (f)(2), 170.302 (f)(3) 170.302 (o), 170.302 (p), 170.302 (q), 170.302 (r), 170.302 (s), 170.302 (t), 170.302 (u), 170.302 (v), 170.304 (b)

Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

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EHR Scope had some time to catch up with Ingenix’s Kim LaFontana about the recent announcement of Ingenix’s independent physician advisory board.  The purpose of the board is to “design solutions that will meet real-world needs.” Kim was very thorough in describing the challenges and successes of the current electronic health records industry and Ingenix’s ONC-ATCB certified CareTracker EHR solution.


“Using technology in your office should not impede your cash flow, should not slow clinicians down and it should not prevent you from having information. It’s a radical change to your world and the workflow, but what our teams have been focusing on, as we have introduced CareTracker EHR— is how to do it in a way that actually works for the physician and makes them feel like they are delivering better, more efficient care”.  –Kim LaFontana

Continue reading: Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

gloStream’s gloEMR is ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified

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gloStream’s gloEMR is One of First Electronic Medical Records Solutions to be ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certified.

Online PR News – 29-October-2010 – TROY, Mich. (OCT. 1, 2010) – gloStream announced today that gloEMR 6.0 Electronic Medical Record software is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on September 30 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“We remain dedicated to providing ambulatory physicians with Microsoft Office-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solutions that are flexible, easy to use and certified for purposes of the ARRA,” said Mike Sappington, gloStream’s CEO. “We want to help doctors become meaningful EMR users and receive their stimulus funding as quickly as possible, which is the reason we were one of the very first EMRs certified through an ONC-ATCB. Not only have we delivered on our stimulus guarantee, but we will also deliver an innovative stimulus dashboard within gloEMR that providers can use to view their performance against all meaningful use requirements.”

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT.

2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

About gloStream

gloStream provides doctors and healthcare facilities with certified, voice-enabled electronic medical record and practice management solutions delivered and supported through a nationwide community of local Healthcare IT Practices. gloStream products are secure, easy-to-use applications and the only solutions on the market with Microsoft Office built right in. gloStream Partners leverage gloDNA (“gloStream Detailed Needs Analysis”), an innovative implementation process that has given gloStream a 100 percent success rate. Every practice that has installed a gloStream application using gloDNA continues using it today. For more information, visit www.glostream.com or call 877-456-3671.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing.

ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

ONC Committee Work-groups and Tiger Team Want Your Input

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Most viewers of EHR Scope are physicians and medical office managers, many of whom are becoming educated about the necessity of EHR implementation, and may not be completely up to date with some of the technical progress of the National Health Information Network (NHIN) since HITECH.  While the meaningful use final rules are shaping elements of incentive qualifications and penalty enforcement; when all is said and done, HIT work roles and workflows will be significantly changed as well.  Defined roles and qualifications for those required to handle personal health information (PHI) will be formed by the security requirements embedded in the National Health Information Network.  While these issues are more technical in nature, perhaps there are some of you out there with the ability to contribute to the public discussion while the ONC is listening. Continue reading: ONC Committee Work-groups and Tiger Team Want Your Input

Independent Expert Physician Advisory Board Formed to Advance Ingenix Efforts to Modernize the Health Care Delivery System

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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Ingenix CEO Andy Slavitt announced the formation of an independent physician advisory board to guide the company’s efforts to support clinicians in modernizing health care delivery through advanced information and technology.

“Our intention at Ingenix is to partner with physicians and design solutions that meet their real-world needs”

The Ingenix Physician Advisory Board, a multidisciplinary group of experts, will work with the company’s innovation teams to address the quality and cost challenges confronting today’s health care delivery system. In addition, the Board will provide input that enhances the capabilities of current Ingenix products and processes to help clinicians improve quality and outcomes. Further, the Board will facilitate ongoing dialogue between physicians and the company to ensure that Ingenix products operate effectively in clinicians’ workflow.

Joseph M. Heyman, M.D., a practicing physician with extensive expertise in applying health information technology to clinical practice will chair the Board. Dr. Heyman has unique perspective and sensitivity to the needs of clinicians from his years as a practicing physician and from his service as former chair of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees and former President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, publishers of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Founding Board members include Willarda V. Edwards, M.D., Salvatore Volpe, M.D., C. Martin Harris, M.D., Gregory Reicks, D.O., Alice Loveys, M.D., Andrew Nordine, M.D. and Stuart Cohen, M.D. Their diverse experiences with technology, health information and analytics will guide Ingenix’s rapidly advancing and increasingly sophisticated capabilities. Ingenix expects to name additional practicing physicians from across medical specialties to the Board over the next year.

“Our intention at Ingenix is to partner with physicians and design solutions that meet their real-world needs,” said Slavitt. “We are inspired by the willingness of these strongly independent physician leaders to offer their time and expertise to help Ingenix tackle some of the most complex challenges facing the health care delivery system. Gaining counsel from these highly accomplished, respected and innovative physicians is key to our ability to support physicians’ professional goals and improve the patient-physician experience.”

“As a practicing physician for more than 30 years and a leader of both the national organization of physicians and a state medical society, I have developed a keen understanding of the health information, technology and workflow needs of today’s clinicians,” said Dr. Heyman. “I am encouraged that Ingenix feels so strongly about involving the voice of the profession more intimately in its work. I am excited by this opportunity to help Ingenix better focus its extraordinary resources in support of modernizing the delivery system, and to assist my physician colleagues. Input from the Board will help Ingenix develop solutions to challenges that physicians face, in a manner that takes into account their dedication to patients, their clinical and financial concerns and their workflow.”

Formation of the Physician Advisory Board occurs at a key point in the evolution of the development and deployment of health information technologies, data and analytics that can help meaningfully improve care delivery; expand use of electronic health records (EHRs); enable transparent performance assessment and improvement; and protect the privacy of patient information. The Physician Advisory Board will advise Ingenix on a number of areas including analytic and consultative processes, administrative services and privacy and security. In addition, the Board will serve as a resource to physicians and communities seeking to advance their use of health IT and analytics solutions.

Ingenix currently offers a number of leading solutions designed to improve connectivity, simplicity and patient care, including its Axolotl Elysium health information exchange platform, CareTracker cloud computing EHR, Picis Pulse Check Emergency Room platform and Meaningful Use consulting services through Ingenix Consulting.

Ingenix was created in 1996 to help physicians, hospitals, employers, health plans and other stakeholders solve challenges confronting their organizations; increase access to affordable, high-quality care; improve efficiency in the delivery of health care services; and facilitate fast, easy access to information that supports decision-making across the health care system. Today, Ingenix has more than 12,000 employees, including more than 1,000 clinical professionals, and the company provides a wide range of proven health IT solutions and services to more than 240,000 physicians and nearly 6,000 hospitals in the United States.

Joseph M. Heyman, M.D.

Dr. Heyman is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He serves on the board of commissioners of the Joint Commission, the board of directors of the Joint Commission Resources and the steering committee of the Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health collaborative. Dr. Heyman is also a member of the certification/adoption and the implementation workgroups of the national Health IT Policy Committee, which makes recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. He served as chair of the AMA Board of Trustees (2008–2009) and secretary (2005–2006) and was chair of the finance committee. He also served as president, vice president and trustee of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and speaker of its House of Delegates. He has also served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Practicing Physicians Advisory Council.

Willarda V. Edwards, M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Edwards is the managing partner and internist in partnership in Baltimore and has been in private practice since 1984. She has held national offices in both the AMA and the National Medical Association (NMA). She is immediate past-president of the NMA, is a delegate to the AMA from Maryland and is past chair of the AMA Women Physicians Congress. Dr. Edwards has served more than 18 years on the NMA Board of Trustees in numerous capacities including chairman and treasurer. As NMA president, she served as spokesperson for NMA’s health policy during the health care reform debate. She has served on several governor-appointed commissions and task forces, including the Maryland High Blood Pressure Commission, the Maryland Hospital Rate-Setting Commission and the Health Services Cost Review Commission, where she was a commissioner for eight years.

Salvatore Volpe, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.P., C.H.C.Q.M.

With over 19 years of primary-care practice experience, Dr. Salvatore Volpe is one of the few physicians in the country to have successfully become board certified in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Quality Assurance. As president of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) New York State Chapter, Dr. Volpe is working to bring the various member constituencies together to for the optimal use of health IT and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Dr. Volpe lectures throughout New York for the Medical Society of the State of New York as Chair of the Health IT Task Force. He also is a member of the AMA Health IT Advisory Group.

C. Martin Harris, M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Harris is a staff member in the Department of General Internal Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, where he also is the chief information officer and chairman of the Information Technology Division. Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Harris’ clinical interests include evaluating and managing the critically ill patient during the pre-operative period. Dr. Harris frequently presents at national meetings on health care and technology. He is on the advisory board of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Better Health 2010 committee and is a judge for the case studies in medicine for The Computerworld Smithsonian Honors Program. He also is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Gregory C. Reicks, D.O., F.A.A.F.P.

An osteopathic physician, Gregory Reicks is president of the Board of Directors for the Quality Health Network regional health information exchange based in Grand Junction, Colorado, and president of the Mesa County Physicians Independent Practice Association, a 218-physician multi-specialty independent practice association. The Dartmouth Atlas Project has cited Mesa County for having some of the lowest-cost, highest-quality care per Medicare member in the nation. Dr. Reicks’ leadership in these associations, combined with more than 20 years as a practicing physician have provided him with extensive insight to the information needs of physicians across their practice.

Alice Loveys, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.H.I.M.S.S.

Dr. Loveys is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (AAP) and has been practicing pediatrics since 1994. Her area of special interest includes medical informatics. She serves as chief medical information officer for the Monroe County Medical Society in New York, an extension agent for the NYeC Regional Extension Center. She is also on the board of directors of the Rochester Community Individual Practice Association and the advisory committee of the AAP’s Child Health Informatics Center. She has served as membership chair of the HIMSS Davies Ambulatory Committee and as vice chair of the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization’s board of directors. Her practice won the 2004 HIMSS Davies Ambulatory Award for excellence in implementation.

Andrew Nordine, M.D., M.S., F.A.A.P.

Dr. Nordine is a licensed physician with American Board of Pediatrics certifications in both pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. He is a practicing neonatologist at Cedar Rapids Saint Luke’s (CRSL) Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the director of Quality Improvement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Dr. Nordine chairs the CRSL Department of Pediatrics as well as the NICU Evidence-based Practice Committee. He is a member of several information technology committees working at the hospital and Iowa Health System levels. Dr. Nordine is member of HIMSS, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and the American Medical Informatics Association.

Stuart Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P.

Dr. Cohen is senior shareholder and board member of Children’s Primary Care Medical Group, Inc., in San Diego. He currently serves as vice chair of the AAP, District 9 (California) and has been an AAP delegate to the AMA since 1996. Dr. Cohen is an appointed member of the AMA Group Practice Advisory Bard and was a member of the long-serving AMA Ad-Hoc Task Force on E/M CPT Coding. He chairs the AAP California District delegation to the California Medical Association and is a member of its Task Force on Primary Care. Dr. Cohen is past president of the San Diego county Medical Society and is current president of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation.

About Ingenix

Ingenix is a leading provider of health information, technology and consulting services. Organizations, institutions, businesses and government agencies that comprise the health care system depend on Ingenix solutions and insights to improve their performance. Visit www.ingenix.com for more information.

GE Centricity® Advance Among First to Receive ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification

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BARRINGTON, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GE Healthcare is pleased to announce that GE Centricity® Advance version 10.1 is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on October 1, 2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Continue reading: GE Centricity® Advance Among First to Receive ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification

In the News: An Overview of Ingenix CareTracker EMR

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Ingenix is back in the news with recent CCHIT certification under ONC-ATCB meaningful use guidelines.  As more companies are certified and the EMR/ EHR market begins to settle; larger players like Ingenix stand with an advantage.  Over the next several months, we will be blogging about specific characteristics that make the most- recent versions of each record system competitive.  With this in mind, we thought we would take a more in-depth look at what Ingenix’s EMR software, CareTracker, offers its subscribers. Continue reading: In the News: An Overview of Ingenix CareTracker EMR