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CMS eHealth Summit: Physicians Call for Simplification

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, May 20, 2014

One doctor attending the eHealth Summit in Baltimore challenged electronic health records system vendors to simplify their implementations, saying "things that should be very simple… get very complicated when they get handed off to the vendor."

Simplification of everything from quality measures to physician workflow in electronic health record systems turned out to be a main theme of CMS's fourth annual eHealth Summit in Baltimore Monday.

An official of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT said the agency recently pared down a list of 60 diabetes measures to five measures to be implemented agency-wide.

"Some of that is going to take a while for the rest of the world to see, because if you follow federal rulemaking cycles, you know that when we make decisions like this in the government, it takes two or three years for those to end up being the ones that you've living under," said Kevin Larsen, MD, medical officer for meaningful use at ONC.

Last week, ONC met with a group called the Buying Value Coalition, a project of the National Quality Forum, to align quality measures across federal, state and private sectors, Larsen said.

"The ultimate goal of that measurement is a low-burden exercise and it's an attribute of the EHR you have. So you spend most of your time improving care, but you have the tools in your lap or in your office to actually see the care that you're giving and understand where your opportunities and care gaps are," Larsen said.

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