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Citing 'System Failure,' AHA Urges Delay of MU Stage 2

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 30, 2013

"We don't really have that," Jones says. "Our challenge is that we really need to see some evaluation about the real experience. We did this study based on our members and I would imagine that (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and others would have even more resources available to understand the larger scope of the problem. But we are very concerned about these requirements and the current pace of the program."
Jones says there are a number of reasons for the problems that have dogged EHR quality measures.

"The cumulative effect of all of these problems was system failure," she says. "It started out with the whole design of the policy itself, that we have this requirement that we report using specifications that are published after the final rule for the meaningful use program are published and there is a mad dash to actually implement them."

"Slow down the timeline to bring forward these specifications so that the vendors know what it is they are supposed to support and the providers have a clear understanding of what it is they are expected to do with this technology."

The AHA report examines the efforts of four hospitals of varying sizes and locations across the country as they try to make operational quality measures within their EHRs. The hospitals were not identified in the report.

"We decided to not focus on the 'who' and focus the uniform experience across the hospitals," Jones says. "We made a point of reaching out to hospitals that are not just champions of EHR but had experience using EHR even prior to the Meaningful Use program, and yet these folks were experiencing challenges. This is a diverse group. It is not one region of the country. They didn't use the same EHR technology and yet their experience was the same."

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