New pediatric EHR model will help vendors customize products

The American Academy of Pediatrics has weighed in on its involvement in a new model electronic health record system for pediatrics, outlining the steps it took to help the government create a format better suited to meet the needs of children.

AAP's work was reported in an article in the latest issue of AAP News. The organization and other stakeholders helped the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality by assessing gaps in current EHR models, outlining standard elements for pediatric visits, and identifying the 100 most critical elements needed in such a product.

The result of this evaluation is the creation of a set of instructions for vendors that define the functionality and data standard requirements "essential" to pediatrics. CMS and AHRQ announced the creation of this new format in February. 

"The model EHR format will help vendors, who receive requests for modifications of their products by pediatric providers, to focus on the most critical elements and to direct their resources on the right efforts," Christoph Lehmann, medical director of the AAP Child Health Informatics Center, said in the article. 

It has long been acknowledged that pediatric care requires unique EHR needs that many EHR products don't currently offer. Initiatives by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other studies have been aimed at addressing these particular needs to increase adoption of EHRs by pediatricians and improve children's care. 

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