Upgrade with caution

By Gienna Shaw

Although the auditors didn't dive as deeply into quality measures as Pam McNutt, senior vice president & CIO at the six-hospital Methodist Health System in North Texas, (pictured) expected, she did have advice for the CHIME13 audience on getting quality reports in order.

"The quality metrics are not something you can compute in a spreadsheet or some other fashion. You must use the report as delivered by your certified quality metric reporting vendor … and show that to the auditors," she said.

"You need to prove you were on a certified release the entire time," McNutt added. "I know of some organizations that got tripped up with this during upgrade cycles, believing that all you had to do was be on the certified release before you ran all your reports. Well, that's not the case. You need to prove it with screen shots showing the date that your certified EHR technology went into production. And that needed to be on or before the start date of your attestation period.

"You cannot upgrade in the course of a year and say you were on that certified release the entire year. So every time you are doing an upgrade, if you're in the path of Meaningful Use reporting, you need to think about that."

All of this preparation, ideally, will lead you to execute the next critical step--fast, as you'll see on the next page of this special report.

Upgrade with caution