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MU lesson: Watch data capture

Health Data Management, April 27, 2011

Heart & Vascular Center of Arizona was one of 150 provider organizations that successfully attested to meaningful use of electronic health records on April 18, the first day that attestation was available under the Medicare incentive program. The center, with six specialists serving the Phoenix region at five sites, learned a big lesson that most other providers will face as they seek meaningful use, says Barbara Watkins, administrator. “The No. 1 thing is to look at internal workflows and how data is being captured and recorded,” she advises. “Your system isn’t capturing and recording all the data you think it is.” Many providers, she explains, have used EHRs for several years and recently upgraded to meaningful use-certified systems. But the doctors still are using old “observation” terms that the upgraded system may not be capturing.