Have you found it difficult to meet the meaningful use core objective to test the electronic exchange of key clinical information?
In reality this objective is actually not as complicated as you may think and can be completed with just a bit of coordination and effort. The foundation of what you need already exists in your certified EHR. The ability to export and import a continuity of care document (CCD)/continuity of care record (CCR) is required for an EHR system to become certified. Setting up the test partner and securely sending and receiving the clinical information is all you need to do to satisfy this objective.
There are a few things that you’ll need to prepare for the test:
Test with a Separate Legal Entity
You will need to find a test partner that is not part of your own hospital or clinic practice. Your EHR vendor may be able to assist you in finding a suitable test partner. Using the same EHR software by both participants is not required. The only requirement is that both participants have their own independent certified EHR installed.
Create a test CCD for transmission to your test partner EHR system. This functionality is typically part of the Health Information Management (HIM) module in most EHRs, but check your EHR user guides and documentation.
Secured Electronic Transmission
Any means of electronic transmission method that can be secured such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) will work. There is no restriction as to how you electronically send the clinical information as long as it is secure, so implementing an expensive automated interface is not necessary under stage 1. As a note, saving the CCD record to a USB, CD-ROM, or other physical media does not meet the objective. In addition, electronic fax would not meet the objective either.
Once you are setup, test both sending and receiving a CCD from your partner EHR system. Be sure to import the CCD you receive into your EHR system to complete the test. Make sure you document the results of your test and retain a copy for your records.
For the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, does exchange of electronic information using physical media, such as USB, CD-ROM, or other formats, meet the measure of this objective?