undefinedIf you're looking to purchase a new optometry EHR for your practice then Meaningful Use might be something you're thinking about participating in. And in order to participate in Meaningful Use, you'll need to purchase a 2014 certified EHR. Choosing to participate in The Meaningful Use Incentive Program means you'll be getting monetary incentives for completing the different stages of Meaningful Use, and you'll be avoiding penalties on your Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements come 2015.

But you might not realize that you have a choice when it comes to EHR certification for your system. You can purchase either a system with complete or modular certification. There are quite a few differences between the two, so we are going to give you the scoop!

Modular vs. Complete Optometry EHR Certification

Modular Certification

Modular certification is given to software that has been approved to give you the capabilities needed to successfully attest to certain measures of Meaningful Use. So if you purchase a modular EHR, then you'll have to purchase other modular certified software, such as E-prescribing, in order to create a complete system. Here's a few more things you should know about modular certification:

  • You can continue to use products that you already purchased and are currently using in your practice.
  • You will need to be very familiar with the certification requirements, as you'll be responsible for making sure that each of the modules allow you to complete all of the requirements to attest to Meaningful Use.
  • You get the freedom to pick and choose vendors for each module (you're not restricted to using just one system, like with a complete certified system).
  • You can add new software to existing software that you already use.
  • Modules might require more patience from your staff as they will have to adjust and train on various different systems, which could be costly and inefficient.
  • While you do get a lot of flexibility with modular certified systems, there can be a lot of confusion as well:
    • You will need to collect certification numbers for each product in use and submit them as a package solution in order to attest.
    • It is not the vendor's responsibility to make sure you purchase additional modules to complete attestation.
    • Your modular system will be accessed as a comprehensive solution, and if they meet the criteria, you'll receive a new certification number that you will use to attest.

Complete Certification

Complete certification is given to a practice management and EHR system that has been approved to give you all of the capabilities needed to successfully attest to Meaningful Use. Complete systems are quite different from modular systems:

  • The vendor does most of the work. Everything you need to attest is right there in a single system. No additional purchases, or training on multiple systems.
  • Your workflow will be seamless. You won't have to worry about logging in and out and switching between screens of different software during an exam.
  • You'll get less customization, as you're stuck with the features of that one software.
  • Stable and consistent security to maintain confidentiality within one system.

Knowing the differences between modular and complete certification is one of the first steps you should take if you're looking to purchase a system for Meaningful Use. Once you've got this down, you can move onto assessing your practice's needs so that you can find a system that will be a good fit for your practice and workflow.