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OSMA's EMR Standards of Excellence Program Eases EMR Adoption Process
Date:3/3/2009

Program Enters its Second Year with New Vendors for 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- State and federal lawmakers are calling for an expansion of health information technology (HIT) use by physicians and hospitals by making funding available. Ohio's executive budget has provisions for an increase in HIT funds and the recently passed federal economic stimulus package contains $19 billion in Medicare and Medicaid HIT incentives including for the adoption of electronic medical record systems (EMR). While the details for obtaining these funds are yet to be determined, the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) is offering physicians a chance to get a head start on the process of adopting EMR through the OSMA's EMR Standards of Excellence Program (EMR SOE).

"We are happy that lawmakers are making the expansion of health information technology a priority, especially in these difficult economic times," said OSMA President Warren F. Muth, MD. "The OSMA's EMR SOE Program gives our member practices the tools to succeed in selecting an EMR vendor during the multi-step and sometimes confusing selection and adoption process."

The EMR SOE Program began in March of last year and is available exclusively to OSMA members. The innovative program helps reduce the risk for physicians who wish to adopt an EMR by identifying vendors who have agreed to include physician-friendly terms and conditions in their contracts with medical practices. In addition, at a minimum, the EMR vendors in the program must be certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).

The typical EMR vendor selection process can take as long as two years as a medical practice has to research and sort through hundreds of different vendors. OSMA members say that by identifying physician-friendly vendors, the EMR SOE Program has helped save them time and money as well as lower the risk associated with the lengthy process of adopting EMR.

"It would have been very difficult to select an EMR without the OSMA's EMR SOE Program. With all of the potential options of vendors out there, we just would not have known where to start," said Michele Wittler, office manager at OB/GYN Specialists of Lima, INC, a five physician practice in Lima, Ohio. "The OSMA's EMR SOE Program gave us the resources to make an informed choice in selecting a physician-friendly EMR vendor."

OB/GYN Specialists of Lima, INC is scheduled to go live with software purchased from an OSMA EMR SOE vendor early in March.

The OSMA has worked with The Coker Group, a nationally recognized firm that specializes in health care consulting, to identify terms and conditions that help protect physicians' rights in the EMR contracting process. The Coker Group also provides OSMA members with an initial vendor contract and quote validation review at no charge.

"Today's economic crisis has highlighted the value of the OSMA's EMR SOE program," said Jeffery Daigrepont, Senior Vice President, with The Coker Group. "HIT is not going to solve all the challenges, but it is a critical first step toward addressing many of them, especially reducing cost."

As the EMR SOE Programs enters its second year, the OSMA would like to welcome NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, INC and Sequel Systems to the program for 2009. The current vendors in the OSMA's EMR SOE Program are Allscripts (www.allscripts.com), e-MDs (www.e-mds.com), Greenway Technologies (www.greenwaymedical.com), iMedica Corporation (www.imedica.com), Sage (www.sagehealth.com), InteGreat (www.igreat.com), Sequel Systems (www.sequelmed.com) and NextGen Healthcare (www.nextgen.com).

For additional information on the OSMA's EMR SOE Program, please contact Jason Koma, OSMA External Communication Manager at (614) 527-6726 or jkoma@osma.org

About OSMA

The Ohio State Medical Association is a statewide association representing 20,000 Ohio physicians, residents, medical students and practice managers. It is dedicated to improving the practice of medicine for physicians, their staff and patients, by advocating their position, saving them time and money and promoting the medical profession. The OSMA is affiliated with the American Medical Association on the national level and county medical societies on the local level.

About The Coker Group

The Coker Group is a national consulting firm with offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas. Coker has also extended its offer to provide OSMA members a FREE vendor contract inspection for 2009. www.cokergroup.com


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SOURCE Ohio State Medical Association
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