With the federal incentive program for electronic health records well underway, hundreds of companies are selling EHRs. InformationWeek Healthcare has cut through the noise and identified a dozen vendors worth watching.
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Products: For pediatric practices: PhysicianXpress.
Why You Should Watch: "Just as children are not small adults, a pediatric EHR is not just an adaptation of an adult EHR," advises the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatric EHRs must be able to calculate medication dosing based on weight, track patient growth, and keep immunization records, among other things. There are plenty of speciality-specific EHR modules out there, but Doctor Office Management, based in Collegeville, Pa., says its PhysicianXpress was the first pediatric-only system to earn certification as a complete EHR for Meaningful Use Stage 1.
Pediatrics is different from other specialties in another way: Meaningful Use provides Medicare and/or Medicaid bonus payments for EHR adoption, and pediatricians by definition don't see Medicare patients. So the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which authorized the incentive program, lowered the threshold for children's doctors to qualify as "eligible providers" on the Medicaid side. While most practitioners must have 30% of their patient populations on Medicaid to be eligible for a maximum of $63,750 in extra reimbursements, pediatricians have a standard of 20%.
That still leaves a lot of physicians on the outside, so it will be interesting to see how many pediatricians will achieve Meaningful Use -- or whether they will even adopt EHRs in wide numbers.