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

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 30, 2013

The report recommends:

  • Slowing the pace of the transition to electronic quality reporting with fewer, but better-tested measures, starting with Stage 2. The additional time would allow: policymakers to create a reliable policy process for eCQM implementation, a mechanism to provide eCQM updates, and a robust EHR testing/certification program; vendors to develop tools that support logical workflows, produce accurate measures and leverage all data already in the EHR; and hospitals to implement the tools in a way that supports their quality goals without excessive burden or risk to patients.
  • Making EHRs and eCQM reporting tools more flexible so that data capture can be aligned with workflow and interoperable so that data can be shared across hospital department systems.
  • Improving health IT standards for EHRs and eCQM reporting tools to address usability and data management to achieve Meaningful Use program expectations. Additional EHR fields to capture structured clinical information disrupts the usual clinical workflow, increases time on narrative and structured data documentation and decreases time for patient care.
  • Testing eCQMs for reliability and validity before adopting them in national programs. Implement eCQMs within hospitals as part of testing to ensure information flow is accurate and there is no adverse impact on quality and patient safety.
  • Providing clear guidance and tested tools to support successful hospital transition to increased electronic quality reporting requirements.

The report marks the latest public push by the AHA to roll back the MU Stage 2 Deadlines. Last week AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock and AMA CEO James. L Madara, MD, sent a joint letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging more "flexibility" in meeting the program's "all or nothing requirements."

"Our members, and the vendors they work with, report growing concerns that the rapidly approaching start date for Stage 2 is on a trajectory that will not provide enough time or adequate flexibility for a safe and orderly transition unless certain changes are made," the letter states.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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