ARRA’s Effect on EMR Reporting Versus Functionality

Posted on May 21, 2009 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.

I was just reading through Jamie’s post on EMR and EHR talking about showing EMR “meaningful use” and EMR reporting. She provides some really interesting examples about the challenges of reporting out of an EMR that wasn’t designed to report those various data elements.

This discussion caused me to think about the impact that having to report on meaningful use will have on an EMR implementation. An EMR implementation is hard enough as it is now. Now, not only will an EMR user have to focus on learning all the new EMR functionality and translating their various clinical workflows into an EMR workflow, but they’ll also have to take into consideration the reporting requirements that will be necessary to get access to the EMR stimulus money and show meaningful use.

Certainly some of this planning could be a good thing and probably should have been done regardless of whether a doctor wanted EMR stimulus money or not. However, anyone that’s had to deal with reporting knows that it takes a lot of work and planning to get it right.

It will be interesting to see how much of an impact these reporting requirements will have on the already abysmal successful EMR implementation success rates. Granted, most doctors implementing an EMR won’t properly address these requirements during implementation and will just suffer the consequences of not showing meaningful use when that time comes.