CHIME: Complete, accurate data reporting via EHRs 'nearly impossible'

Electronic health record systems are not yet ready to provide complete and accurate reporting of clinical quality measures to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

CHIME, responding to a request for information about the Inpatient Quality Data Reporting program, thanked CMS for working to harmonize quality reporting, but noted that hospitals and vendors are not yet able to provide electronic inpatient quality data reports that CMS is contemplating. According to a letter sent by President and CEO Richard Correll and Board Chair George Hickman this week to acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, "most hospitals do not capture all the necessary CQM data for all patients through the EHR." What's more, according to Correll and Hickman, the 2014 edition of certified EHRs, which is the technology that will be used for such reporting, is "incapable" of generating complete and separate CQM reports..

CHIME also worries that the workflow and technology of reporting are "not fully understood" and that hospitals that still are transitioning from paper to electronic records are in a "precarious position."

"[W]ithout making the entire record structured, discrete data or having mature text recognition software in place, one cannot extract all the data needed on every patient to create accurate quality metrics," Correll and Hickman say.

CHIME is urging CMS to promote the Meaningful Use Incentive program's electronic reporting program. So far, according to the letter, only four hospitals have signed up to participate in the pilot.

CMS is seeking to make quality reporting less burdensome for hospitals via the automatic collection and reporting of data and by simplifying reporting for the agency's various reporting programs. The request for information was published in the Federal Register Jan. 3.

The American Hospital Association calls for a revised process for electronic specifications for clinical quality measures in the electronic health record incentive program in a letter sent this week to Tavenner and National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari.

To learn more:
- here is CHIME's comment letter (.pdf)