Latest Developments in Software Certification

A message from James Kirchner, OD, Chief Professional Officer for Eyefinity:

Dr. James Kirchner

Last week, the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) initially approved two entities, CCHIT and The Drummond Group, Inc., to become the first two Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs) that will certify electronic health systems.

At Eyefinity, we are ready for our software to be reviewed and certified. So, on September 8, we applied to The Drummond Group, Inc. as our ATCB. After approving our application, The Drummond Group scheduled our review for the next available testing date, which is in November.

This earliest available date assures you that there will be adequate time for you to become familiar with and train on the requirements for meaningful use with OfficeMate and ExamWRITER. You will need to demonstrate meaningful use in 2011 for a reporting period of 90 days. In other words, the very last date to begin meaningful use will be September 30, 2011. Remember, using certified software in a meaningful way will be necessary for you to qualify for incentive pay.

And remember, we, as medical providers, are going to get paid to do this! The $44,000 per doctor incentive is meaningful to most of us (unless you’ve been sitting on shares of Apple for the last ten years; in which case, I don’t know why you’re still practicing).

In the next few weeks, I’ll begin a series of messages that explain the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act that Congress passed last year. (High fives to everyone who knew what HITECH stands for!) The HITECH Act has great impact on our future as eyecare professionals.

Believe me; I understand the deluge of information available to all of us, so I’ll do my best to make my presence in your inbox concise and meaningful.


James Kirchner, OD
Chief Professional Officer – Eyefinity

Why I Work in the Eyecare Industry

Michael O. is Sr. Technical Writer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

Michael O. is Sr. Technical Writer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

I love working in the eyecare industry because I am so deeply indebted to it.

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I have worn hard contact lenses since I was a month old. You see, I was born with cataracts, and after undergoing four corrective surgeries as an infant, I am now aphakic. For those of you who follow this blog but are not doctors, aphakia is the technical term for having the natural crystalline lenses in one’s eyes surgically removed. While contact lenses are still the standard method of optical correction, these days, a cataract patient’s natural lens may be surgically replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) Thirty years ago, IOLs were far too risky and expensive, thereby making contact lenses my only option.

Many people take sight for granted. You have no idea how precious sight is until your contact lenses are accidentally thrown out on Christmas Eve, or you can’t drive because you dropped a contact down the drain. Work can be interrupted. Vacations can be ruined. The possibility of suddenly not being able to see, which probably doesn’t occur to many people, keeps me on my toes.

The miracles of modern medicine and advances in eyecare have afforded me the opportunity to live a normal life. Of course, normal to me involves cleaning and securely storing my contact lenses every night and fussing with reading glasses everywhere I go. These are small prices to pay, however, considering that in past eras, my sight couldn’t have been saved at all.

It pleases me to write documentation for a company that supports what I would consider to be a noble industry, and I am proud to work with optometrists and ophthalmologists who have helped improve the daily lives of millions of people like me.