The nation's leading hospital and physician associations offered variations on the same message this week when they replied to the federal government's request for comments on Stage 3 meaningful use implementation: We support what you're doing, but slow down!
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives summed up the feelings of many physicians and hospital leaders when it asked the HIT Policy Committee and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to "reconsider the speed and scale for achieving Stage 3 meaningful use objectives by 2016."
"We see no value in setting unrealistic performance thresholds or expectations before current evaluations of what we have accomplished have been undertaken," CHIME said in a letter to National Coordinator for HIT Farzad Mostashari, MD.
"[E]very desirable EHR-related objective cannot feasibly be met by 2016, nor do we see any value in attempting the rushed adoption of various EHR uses by that time. Instead, verifiable and continuous progress should be the goal."
Pam McNutt, CIO at Dallas-based Methodist Hospital System and member of CHIME's Policy Steering Committee, said in prepared remarks that the main message to regulators "is that we shouldn't look to cram everything into Stage 3. The modernization of America's healthcare system is a decade-long progression. We need to make sure that the HIT Policy Committee is looking at more than just the Stage 2 measures and objectives when making recommendations to HHS; that's why we strongly urged thorough evaluations of to-date accomplishments and progress."