How Ready Are Hospitals for Meaningful Use?
Because those cultural and workflow changes are often time-consuming to implement, providers should stop waiting and get started now if they plan to capture the incentive payments and be deemed meaningful users of electronic health records. This advice is something that I have been hearing since the announcement of the HITECH Act. But most providers and vendors have been in a holding pattern waiting for the definition of meaningful use. Now it is here, but "the temptation might be to wait until the final, final rule is released," Drazen says.
There are steps that hospitals can take now regardless of the final, final rule, she says. For instance, organizations can start defining order sets, they can assign clinical leaders to work with the IT department, and they can push their vendor to get interim certification. "It has been available since October and very few vendors have done it, but if your vendor isn't going to be certified you won't qualify for meaningful use," she says.
Overall, there have been very few changes to the meaningful use criteria from the HIT Policy Committee's original recommendations, says Drazen. "It is highly unlikely there will be any significant changes, so stop waiting and start moving. At least assess where you are."
Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media IT, a free weekly e-newsletter that features news, commentary and trends about healthcare technology.
Carrie Vaughan is a senior editor with HealthLeaders magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Antibiotic Overuse a 'Huge Threat' to Patient Safety, Says CDC
- Consumerism Drives Healthcare Branding, Rebranding Efforts
- 3 Traits Personality Assessments Can't Reveal
- CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol
- PA Ranks See 'Phenomenal Growth,' Lack of Diversity
- CHS Hacked, 4.5M Patient Records Compromised
- Business Roundup: M&A Activity Down Slightly in First Half of 2014
- CFO Exchange: Healthcare Leaders Share 5 Innovative Ideas
- Large Employers Trimming Healthcare Spending
- 3 Things the Ice Bucket Challenge Can Teach Hospital Marketers