Easy EMR Stimulus Money for Current EMR User

Posted on July 28, 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.

A common contributor to this blog lately has been BobbyG (check out his REC blog for more). He tells an interesting story that runs counter to my post about even existing EMR users not currently showing meaningful use.

Meaningful use is in fact quite doable — at least in the outpatient setting

One clinic I visited yesterday in northern Nevada — Silver Sage — will be an exemplar for me (I’m an REC adoption support workflow specialist). They look to be a shoo-in for Meaningful Use compliance. They use eMDs, and they are really using it. eRx? Check. CPOE? Check. 2-way lab interface feeding back structured data? Check. Reminders? Check. Patient cohort lists by various problem areas? Check. Active meds list (incl drug-drug, drug-allergies, formularies)? Check. Patient portal? Check… etc, etc, etc.

With the Final Rule relaxation of the MU criteria and what I saw in operation yesterday, I’m now of the “stop-whining-and-just-DO-it” mindset. Use your Regional Extension Center services, too. We’re not in it for the money, we’re in it to improve healthcare, period.

Yes, you will need a viable, highly “usable” system, and will need to use it in a way that goes beyond just an electronic filing cabinet (e.g., scanning everything in sight into TIFF files, etc). Yes, you will need to re-do workflow in order to eliminate process waste and align information flow. Of course. Just do it. You’ll improve both patient outcomes and your bottom line, attacked adroitly…

While I have many concerns with the way this whole HITECH Act thing has been rolled out (and with U.S. health care policy more broadly), it’s time for everyone to pull together and make this work.