A common contributor to this blog lately has been BobbyG (check out his REC blog for more). He tells an interesting story that runs counter to my post about even existing EMR users not currently showing meaningful use.
Meaningful use is in fact quite doable — at least in the outpatient setting
One clinic I visited yesterday in northern Nevada — Silver Sage — will be an exemplar for me (I’m an REC adoption support workflow specialist). They look to be a shoo-in for Meaningful Use compliance. They use eMDs, and they are really using it. eRx? Check. CPOE? Check. 2-way lab interface feeding back structured data? Check. Reminders? Check. Patient cohort lists by various problem areas? Check. Active meds list (incl drug-drug, drug-allergies, formularies)? Check. Patient portal? Check… etc, etc, etc.
With the Final Rule relaxation of the MU criteria and what I saw in operation yesterday, I’m now of the “stop-whining-and-just-DO-it” mindset. Use your Regional Extension Center services, too. We’re not in it for the money, we’re in it to improve healthcare, period.
Yes, you will need a viable, highly “usable” system, and will need to use it in a way that goes beyond just an electronic filing cabinet (e.g., scanning everything in sight into TIFF files, etc). Yes, you will need to re-do workflow in order to eliminate process waste and align information flow. Of course. Just do it. You’ll improve both patient outcomes and your bottom line, attacked adroitly…
While I have many concerns with the way this whole HITECH Act thing has been rolled out (and with U.S. health care policy more broadly), it’s time for everyone to pull together and make this work.