Need for additional guidance…The Meaningful Use Mantra

Posted on February 22, 2010 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.

John Halamka wrote some interesting comments about the various feedback he’s heard on the meaningful use guidelines on his blog. He gives some interesting insight into why ONC’s interim final rule is so vague (basically regulation/rule making mess). However, I couldn’t help but see how many times John Halamka used the words:

Need for additional guidance

This is no news to people like myself who’ve been writing about this since the beginning. There is a great desire for information on how to get the EMR stimulus money.

The real problem is that when things are vague and not well defined, then misinformation starts to take its place to satisfy our need for information and guidance. We want to be informed and so people start informing us even if the information is incorrect.

Today I got an email from someone stating that “We have the EMR already installed by a certified institution” and so they wanted to know how they could get the EMR stimulus money.

I felt so bad for this emailer. Someone (likely their EMR vendor) had either told them a lie about certification or more likely is that this person didn’t understand the details of the “certified EHR” component of the stimulus money. This is going to be a major challenge going forward as doctors who don’t have time to follow all the stimulus money movement get bad information. Plus, it’s only going to get worse if we continue to get partial pieces of information.

Sadly, most of the people emailing me about the EMR stimulus will continue to get the “Need for additional guidance” response from me. At least until ONC provides some additional guidance.