Choosing the Best Type of EHR System for Your Practice

What is the difference between modular and complete EHRs?

A “complete EHR” meets all of the government’s requirements for a “qualified EHR” and has been tested and certified by one of the federally approved certification bodies. This means that by installing one system from one vendor, a physician can obtain federal incentive payments and avoid late-adoption payment penalties, provided he or she is using the system “meaningfully.”

A “modular EHR” can be assembled by combining several certified EHR modules so that together they meet all of the requirements for a “qualified EHR.” In this way, a modular EHR can be eligible for the applicable incentives. For example, a physician could assemble products and services providing ePrescribing, provider-to-provider connectivity, clinical decision support, disease registries and an interactive patient Web portal, creating a qualified EHR without ever acquiring a “complete EHR.”

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