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Meaningful Use And Health IT Innovation

Posted on September 12, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Today I caught an excellent post on HIT Consultant by standards architect Keith Boone (aka @motorcycleguy on Twitter) on how Meaningful Use is affecting health IT. In his article, Boone argues that Meaningful Use requirements are stifling health IT innovation in some instances:

When you put an entire industry under the MU pressure cooker, the need to meet Federal Mandates overwhelms anything else.  The need to develop software that is able to support a large number of externally controlled mandates can, and in many cases, has resulted in bad engineering.  You can’t innovate well on a deadline.

Boone says he’s seen many instances where developers produce a capability that meets MU requirements but doesn’t meet the needs of the customer. He suggests, quite credibly in my view, that with Meaningful Use requirements dominating EMR development, that “neither developers nor end users really learn the lessons Meaningful Use is attempting to teach.”

That being said, he does cite a few instances where Meaningful Use has actually succeeded in supporting innovation, including:

* The Blue Button Plus supports a new, higher level of patient access to their data,and is built from components and requirements already present in Stage 2.

* The Query Health initiative, he suggests, has done innovative work that supports not only its stated focus (health research) but also automation of quality measurement using HL7’s HQMF.

But the bottom line remains — and this is me talking here, not Boone — that Meaningful Use will inevitably focus EMR vendors on developing to the standard, not coming up with neat innovations that may not meet the requirement. There’s just no way around it.

What we will see more of, meanwhile, is applications which serve as an extra layer or function to EMRs. As a recent story in MedCityNews notes, new EMR-related innovations range from Modernizing Medicine’s touch-based electronic medical assistant for specialists to healthfinch, a technology which standardizes care protocols for the 80 percent of stable patients they see so they can apply their time and skills to the sickest 10 percent to 20 percent.

Readers, what technologies are you seeing which enhance the experience of using an EMR?

Health IT Tweet Roundup – Neil Versel Edition

Posted on July 21, 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.

As you know, each weekend I like to do a roundup of interesting tweets and add a bit of commentary. This time I thought it would be fun to grab some tweets from just one person, Neil Versel. Neil has been doing a number of really great posts on his blog Meaningful Health IT News lately (Full Disclosure: Neil’s blog is part of the Healthcare Scene blog network). The following tweets highlight some of Neil’s recent blog posts.

I agree that Blue Button Plus is a great step forward for Blue Button. This post is particularly interesting because Neil didn’t see the promise of Blue Button before the changes were made and it was called plus.

This is a great discussion on the meaningful use requirements and Blue Button’s role in them. Join in if you have some knowledge on the area about what your EHR is doing.

Neil’s right about people who don’t cover healthcare regularly not understanding many of the true dynamics at play. I do find it interesting that Neil is such a fan of clinical decision support. I still think it’s in such an infant state. I can’t wait for much more advanced clinical decision support.