Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

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?

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Standards Video – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on April 2, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 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.

Self proclaimed Standards Geek for GE Healthcare, Keith Boone, did a good presentation covering the meaningful use stage 2 standards along with briefly covering the meaningful use stage 1 standards and looking at the standards we might see beyond meaningful use stage 2. This meaningful use stage 2 standards presentation was done at the Crossing the Infrastructure and HITECH Meaningful Use Divide conference.

If you’re into healthcare standards, then you’ll enjoy this video. If you get confused or just don’t care about the various alphabet soup standards, then you won’t find this video that interesting or likely useful.

I think this video also illustrates a couple important points. First, healthcare standards are pretty complex. Second, a lot of thought and effort has been put towards these standards. Thanks to meaningful use and the EHR incentive money, EHR vendors don’t really have too much choice on whether to adopt these standards or not any more. Although, as Keith point out, these are just proposed standards. The meaningful use stage 2 feedback period is still open, so I encourage you to provide your comments during this period. ONC does listen to this feedback and do its best to incorporate it in the final rule.

As a side note, if you like EHR and Health IT videos, be sure to check out this EMR & EHR Video website. We just passed the 200th video posted on that site. Plus, I just did some math using our analytics programs and we’ve had about 432 hours of video watched on that site this year.

Full CCHIT Certification Estimates

Posted on September 16, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 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.

I’ve written previously about the cost of EHR certification with Drummond Group and CCHIT. However, this just addresses the hard cost of certification that’s paid to the certifying bodies. This cost doesn’t take into account a lot of other costs associated with becoming a certified EHR like the cost to develop and test the features that certification requires.

Keith Boone on his blog Healthcare Standards has done a great blog post that evaluates the other costs associated with certifying an EHR software beyond the fee you pay to the certifying body. If you’re an EMR vendor, this is an article that you definitely want to look at and consider. Plus, I’d love your feedback on things he missed or where he might have missed costs or estimated to high on costs.

Here’s Keith’s projections for EHR certification costs based on his estimates:
Average yearly developer salary: $80,000
Fully Burdened yearly cost: 200,000 – 240,000
Times the length of the project (~5.5 years)
Total certification labor cost: $1.1M – $1.32M

Of course, this number matches the estimates that came out with the HITECH act as well. ONC estimated between $500k-$1.5 million. So, this is pretty close.

I’ll leave the impact (good or bad) of this expense open for discussion. I think most people know where I stand on it.