Challenge of Meaningful Use Even for Existing EHR Users

Posted on July 22, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Paul decided to stop by the post I did that referred to his comments on the skepticism around meaningful use. He shared a really interesting experience he had with a client that has an existing CPOE and EHR and their evaluation of the meaningful use requirements.

My point in my post on EHR and Meaningful Use is that providers ought to look at their organization and determine what they need EHR to do for them, not what they need to do to EHR to get a check—those are two very different business and HIT strategies.

One of my clients had already implemented CPOE and EHR. We assessed what they had to do just to meet Stage One MU requirements. Incentive dollars minus cost, to have the chance to meet Meaningful Use, left them upside down by five million dollars, and it would use eighty percent of their IT resources for the next three years.

If the organization is so quick to divest itself from the IT projects that would have been completed were there no Meaningful Use, what does that say for the planning that went into defining those projects? How much further down the ROI chasm should an organization be willing to fall to grab a check? To whom do these organizations ultimately have to answer—CMS?

Obviously, I agree wholeheartedly with his point of using EMR for the benefits of EMR and not for the stimulus checks (since I’ve repeated it dozens of times on this site). Use the stimulus money as a nice bonus if all goes well.

His comments also remind me a bit of my post, “Would Any Current EMR Users Be Able to Show Meaningful Use?

Don’t be confused. I’m completely PRO EMR. I can’t imagine clinics run without an EMR. I’m just still on the fence about whether showing meaningful use to get the EMR stimulus money is worth it.