Health Care Providers Identify Roadblocks to Meaningful Use

On Monday and Tuesday, more than a dozen physicians and representatives of hospitals discussed challenges associated with meeting requirements under the meaningful use program, AHA News reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records can qualify for incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid (AHA News, 1/11).

Attendees spoke during a two-day meeting of the Implementation work group of the Health IT Standards Committee. The speakers were advanced users of EHRs, according to Modern Healthcare (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/12).

Attendees’ Concerns

Attendees said that many hospitals will face challenges complying with the incentive program’s meaningful use requirements.

Joanne Sunquist — CIO of Minneapolis-based Hennepin County Medical Center — said developing reports to demonstrate meaningful use “has become an onerous, difficult and time-consuming process” (Page, Becker’s Hospital Review, 1/12). Sunquist added that health care organizations might encounter difficulty implementing quality reporting systems using vendor-provided workflow information (Goedert, Health Data Management, 1/12).

According to Charles Christian — CIO of Good Samaritan Hospital in Indiana — smaller facilities could experience difficulty implementing health IT because they might not have appropriate in-house staff and would have to rely on outside help.

Linda Reed — vice president and CIO of Atlantic Health in New Jersey — said that physicians need more guidance on implementing technology to support health information exchange (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 1/12).

According to Lyle Berkowitz — medical director of clinical information systems at Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group — independent physician practices are at a disadvantage because they do not have access to resources compared with hospital-affiliated groups (Modern Healthcare, 1/12). 

Meeting attendees called for HHS to provide more time before implementing the incentive program’s Stage 2 requirements

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