The Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Health Data Management magazine have launched a new health care software testing facility.

Health Data Tech Labs (www.healthdatatechlabs.com) will provide physicians and hospitals with expert, independent reviews of electronic health records software.  Reports evaluate installation and maintenance, system configuration, user training and "test drive" use-case scenarios. They also incorporate a unique self-evaluation process that enables professionals to match systems to their own specific requirements. The Tech Labs service will not certify EHRs as meeting meaningful use requirements. It is intended to help providers during the vendor selection process.

"With some 300 EHR packages to choose from, doctors and hospitals have a pressing need for guidance and insight," says John McCormick, editorial director of the group of publications that includes HDM. "Our reports are designed to help EHR decision-makers narrow their options and provide an independent review of a software package before they make a decision."

The new service coincides with the Jan. 3, 2011, opening of registration for the federal government's $27 billion electronic health records meaningful use incentive program. But meaningful use incentives in most cases will cover only part of an EHR's cost. According to McCormick, the full price of implementation can range from $25,000 to $100,000 per physician office--making it all the more vital for physicians and their staffs to have access to a trusted information resource that will ensure they make the right purchase decision.

"Most physician practices and many small hospitals cannot afford to hire the team of consultants it takes to evaluate and test EHR software," says Robert Whitaker, senior vice president and group publisher. "Tech Labs provides a cost-effective way for healthcare providers to do their due diligence quickly before making a sizable investment."

Health Data Tech Labs was created under the direction of an advisory board composed of prominent doctors, nurses, chief medical information officers and practice administrators from across the country.  New reports will be posted to the Tech Labs Web site every other week and reports are priced at $299 with additional discounts for health care providers. Health Data Tech Labs' testing environment runs on hardware provided by Dell.

 

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