Meaningful Use Gets More Complex

Posted on July 20, 2009 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 posted previously a short summary of the changes to meaningful use in the final meaningful use matrix presented at the HIT policy committee meeting. As I’ve thought about these changes this weekend, I couldn’t help but remember the major problem I (and many others) had with the original meaningful use criteria being too complex.

My argument then was that the 22 meaningful use criteria as a collective whole were too much for a doctor’s office to complete in the current time frame. Unfortunately, it seems that the HIT policy committee has chosen to only make slight simplifications of the meaningful use matrix for hospitals (For inpatient CPOE, only 10% of orders must be entered electronically) and has actually added to the EMR requirements for ambulatory clinics.

I do think they’ve made a wise choice on marginalizing CCHIT for the “certified EHR” requirement, but I wonder how many doctors are going to be able to meet this lengthy laundry list of EMR requirements to show meaningful use. You should have seen the faces on the doctors I presented to as I briefly listed the meaningful use requirements. Far too many deer in headlights and people shaking their heads.

Of course, the government has one thing on their side. Many won’t look into the details of what’s required to show meaningful use and will implement an EMR not having a full knowledge of what will be required of them to actually get the EHR stimulus payments. Maybe EHR adoption will increase thanks to the stimulus money and very little of the money will actually be spent.