EXCLUSIVE: Allscripts Product First to Meet DOQ-IT Standards

The first of more than 80 software vendors participating in the Doctors Office Quality-Information Technology (DOQ-IT) program for ambulatory quality improvement has received word that its product meets all project requirements for data collection and reporting, Health-IT World News has learned.

HealthMatics EHR, from A4 Health Systems (Cary, N.C.), a unit of Chicago-based health-IT vendor Allscripts, became the first product to demonstrate its ability to report on all 35 DOQ-IT ambulatory quality measures and electronically output the collected information to a clinical data repository.

"A4 is the first vendor to ensure that its HealthMatics product can do these two things," confirms Glen Moy, DOQ-IT program manager for Lumetra, the Medicare quality improvement organization for California. Lumetra serves as the national liaison between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and vendors for DOQ-IT.

Lumetra informed A4 and Allscripts of the distinction in an April 26 letter, a copy of which was provided to Health-IT World News last week. "This is a step on the vendor community side toward providing the kind of tools that physicians need for providing quality care for their patients," Moy says.

Moy says that a number of other EHR products are in the process of being tested and that more approvals should come in the fairly near future. "Eighty-plus vendors have signed DOQ-IT letters of intent, but where all those 80-plus vendors are in the development process varies," he explains.

Vendors who want to support the Medicare quality-improvement program are asked -- but not required -- to sign a letter of intent pledging to meet the DOQ-IT quality standards at some point in the future. Testing is strictly voluntary, but it ensures that systems and products can capture data and output the information to a data warehouse in a format specified by CMS.

"The data warehouse is meant as a feedback mechanism," Moy says. DOQ-IT will mine the information to determine, for example, what percentage of diabetes patients physicians refer for annual eye exams.

DOQ-IT is an outgrowth of Doctors Office Quality (DOQ), a CMS initiative to promote informed medical decision-making and support the adoption of quality-improvement activities in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. "In the process of developing DOQ, CMS realized that it would be difficult to collect and report data, so that led to DOQ-IT," Moy explains.

David Bond, president of A4 division of Allscripts, says that A4 developed the newest version of the software with the DOQ-IT standards in mind. "In the future, all physician practices, we believe, will need to have this data or be able to get to this data," Bond says. "Anybody considering an EHR today, whether they need this today or not...you will have to be able to get this data out."

Allscripts acquired A4 Health Systems in March.
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