PCMH and Patient Registries: 10 Questions to ask EHR Vendors Before You Buy

Is your organization planning to seek NCQA recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)? If so, and your organization is looking for an EHR / EMR and practice management system that can meet the requirements, make sure you ask vendors these 10 questions about patient registries.

1. Does the EHR have a built-in patient registry for quality measure reporting to evaluate outcomes by disease, condition, exposure, etc.? If so, does the registry come standard with the product or is there an extra cost for this feature?

2. Can it automatically generate reminders for follow-up based on certain specified criteria?

3. How does it pull the data? In other words, what triggers automatic selection of a patient for protocol compliance tracking?

4. How does it interoperate within the EHR at the point of care, or is it a separate product that only pulls information when queried?

5. Is the registry simply a database manager, or does it allow users to customize their own logic for patient selection, requisite clinical events, and actionable steps for non-compliance?

6. Does it have intelligence to identify patient population automatically based upon patient-centric criteria?

7. Is there a query capability of the registry? And, if so, is the practice able to click on what they want to generate a report, or does the vendor have to map it to create a report?

8. Does the registry have enough intelligence to catch human data entry errors? For example, if I accidently type in "Sarrrah," will the registry be able to recognize that it should be "Sarah" and pull the information associated with my record.

9. Will my practice be able to generate queries, such as "who are all the male diabetic patients between the ages of 50-65 that have A1c hemoglobin levels above seven?" And, will my practice be able to take such outreach actions from the registry such as secured email, message to the Patient Portal, and/or automated mail-merge through MSWord?

10. Is the registry already loaded with disease-specific conditions and can it be customized by the provider or clinic to create its own registries?