Meaningful Use Stage 3 Priorities

Posted on March 22, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In my reading, I came across this message of what the priorities for meaningful use stage 3 should be:

To be considered for Stage 3, objectives must support new models of care, address national health priorities, promote advancement, be achievable and widely adopted by 2016, and be reasonable from a products and organizational perspective.

I thought this was a really interesting statement, because there’s always a lot of discussion about what meaningful use should really accomplish. If you ask someone in healthcare IT what meaningful use is suppose to accomplish, I expect you’d get a different answer from every person that you ask. That’s unfortunate, because if we’re going to spend billions of dollars on this you’d think we’d have a clear vision of what we want to accomplish with that money.

At the end of the day, it’s ONC-CMS-HHS that makes the meaningful use rules and so it doesn’t really matter what we think if they don’t think the same way we do. Plus, unfortunately it’s a really sad minority that actually give feedback during the meaningful use process.

I wonder how many doctors actually gave any sort of feedback to ONC during the meaningful use process. I’m not talking doctors who are now working for some company. I’m talking about practicing doctors who took the time to understand the MU regulations and provided comments on it. The same could be said for hospital C-level executives. I heard of some that copied and pasted their response from their EHR vendor, but how many hospital CIO’s really dug into the regulations and provided comment? The answer is not enough (despite significant effort on ONC’s part to hear from them).

The above statement seems to make ONC’s position clear on what they want to accomplish with meaningful use stage 3. In fact, the priorities listed above seem in line with the actions they’ve taken when it comes to meaningful use and other ONC initiatives. Right, wrong, or otherwise, it’s important to understand where ONC is coming from when they make the final meaningful use rules. Everyone else can say what they want, but they’re not making the rules.