Medical groups ask CMS to institute EHR safety incentives

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Various healthcare organizations have asked CMS to address inadequate EHR usability and increase system safety requirements, according to a Jan. 3 Pew Charitable Trusts report.

In 2019, CMS issued an open request for comments on how to improve patient safety through EHR use. The technology poses usability concerns, including default drug measurement settings and unclear medication lists, which can exacerbate medical errors. These issues can be the result of EHR system design, customization or an improper implementation by the organization.

Several medical groups, including the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Drummond Group, have applauded CMS' outreach to improve EHR safety and have suggested the agency introduce financial incentives for the adoption of best EHR safety practices, according to the report.

The Drummond Group, which tests EHRs to determine whether systems meet federal criteria, along with the American Medical Association and American Medical Informatics Association all asked CMS to encourage the use of ONC's Safer Guidelines, which highlight how healthcare providers can assess the safety and functions of their EHRs. The medical groups called for CMS to encourage the use of the Safer Guidelines through the agency's Promoting Interoperability program.

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