"We have been pleased to partner with AHRQ on this first and much needed step to move EHR products to better capture the health care needs of children and adolescents," said Cindy Mann, CMS deputy administrator and director of CMS's Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. "The EHR format provides a foundation upon which developers can build EHRs that, by differentiating between children and adults, ultimately will lead to better quality information about children's health."
AHRQ and CMS led development of the children's EHR format by multiple experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians. The format is built on specifications from sources that include the Health Level Seven International (HL7®) EHR-S Functional Model, the HL7 Child Health Work Group's Child Health Functional Profile and the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration's Health IT for Children Toolbox.
"Children are special – they are not little adults where one size can be made to fit all, including one-size EHRs," said Thomas McInerny, M.D., president of the AAP. "Until now many EHRs have lacked child-specific functionality such as the ability to record age-appropriate development, nutrition, immunizations or growth."
Next steps include testing by two CHIPRA quality demonstration grantees, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of North Carolina. As part of the longer term vision, CMS will work toward integration of the format into future editions of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's EHR Standards and Certification Criteria. This would be required for achieving "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology in future stages of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.For more information about the children's EHR format, please visit http://healthit.ahrq.gov/childehrFormat. For more information about the Medicaid and CHIP, please visit www.Medicaid.gov. SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality