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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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How can EHRs facilitate quality reporting?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has outlined eight core functions of an EHR.  These functions are: collecting health information and data, result management, order management, decision support, electronic communication and connectivity, patient support, administrative processes and reporting, reporting and population health.  In 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a rule on the criteria and technical specifications that are required for an EHR to be certified for use for the EHR Incentive Program. These criteria and technical specifications are described in the Standards and Certification for EHRs Final Rule and are geared towards ensuring that EHRs are capable of performing the functions for meaningful use, which includes quality reporting.

Most, if not all EHRs have the ability to generate reports, but they can be labor and time intensive to customize.  It is important to work closely with the vendor or specialist to gain the knowledge necessary to generate reports that capture the desired information.  ONC is developing popHealth go to exit disclaimer, a prototype tool that integrates with EHRs to extract data, generate quality reports, and streamline reporting.  Also, Crystal Reports is often used in conjunction with an EHR to generate reports.  Each EHR is different in its reporting capabilities, therefore being familiar with what your EHR can do is necessary when designing reports.  

Different EHRs are capable of generating different types of reports.  Reports can be created using real time data or aggregate data over a period of time.  Reports can also be in table format, and may include graphs and many EHRs can generate reports to be in a printable format. Clinical dashboards also provide a way for EHRs to create reports.

Related Resources:

Key Capabilities of an EHR go to exit disclaimer– Institute of Medicine
Measurement of the Utilization of an Installed EHR – Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Standards and Certification for EHRs – Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT

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