One EMR Vendor’s View of Meaningful Use

Posted on August 5, 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’m always interested in the reactions of EMR vendors to various news. Granted, much of it is very predictable. They obviously want to sell more EMR software and so their reaction is usually a positive one when we’re talking about billions of dollars of stimulus money.

This is why I was so interested in hearing Evan Steele, CEO of SRSsoft’s response to the final meaningful use rule. Evan has been a strong proponent of maintaining the productivity of the practice and no doubt government regulations like meaningful use can stand in the way of that goal. The following is Evan’s response to the meaningful use final rule:

While the final rule on meaningful use contained some changes from the proposed rule, these modifications are only deferrals, not permanent changes. Everything that was taken out of the proposed rule will be added back in, according to Farzad Mostashari, and the flexibility granted for Stage 1 will be removed in Stage 2, just two short years away. The bottom line for physicians has not changed:

  • Compliance with meaningful use will result in a significant decrease in productivity because the demands on physicians are still onerous and because it requires use of an EMR that is data-driven (traditional, point-and-click EMR) rather than workflow/productivity-driven (like the SRS hybrid EMR).
  • The meaningful use measures are still not particularly relevant to specialists, as HIT Policy Committee member Gayle Harrell pointed out during the recent committee meeting.
  • Participation in the government program is voluntary, as David Blumenthal made clear during the press conference announcing the release of the final rule. Physicians can choose to follow the compliance path or they can elect to pursue the productivity path.

SRS remains committed to physician and practice productivity and will continue to focus our development resources on our flagship product—the unique, productivity-enhancing hybrid EMR. Most high-performance specialists recognize that the cost of complying with meaningful use far outweighs any incentives that might possibly be earned or any penalties that might be imposed.

As you referenced in a recent post, SRS has entered into an alliance that will ensure that physicians have all the options they need. With SRS, they can reap the significant benefits of the productivity path, with the assurance that if at some point in the future they decide to pursue meaningful use, they will be able to do so as clients of SRS.

Looks like Evan is still preaching the EMR productivity message, but there’s a small sliver of hope for meaningful use with SRSsoft. I’m pretty sure every EMR salesperson is going to be so tired of hearing about meaningful use that Every EMR vendor will need a solid meaningful use strategy. Meaningful Use is here to stay. At least until the EMR stimulus money runs out.