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'Late Adopters'—How Small Hospitals Can Navigate Meaningful Use

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, November 12, 2013

In its clinics, ECRMC is using eClinicalWorks, and on the inpatient side, Siemens Soarian Clinicals. Morice is all too aware that Stage 1 of meaningful use is the data collection stage, and that true benefits of being a meaningful user probably won't kick in until Stage 3, when people may experience "the absolute change in the industry that we're all hoping for: removing a lot of these manual processes, automating healthcare information, and involving the patient more."

This year, ECRMC started with required core measures on the inpatient side: stroke, ED, and VTE. Next year, like all meaningful users, ECRMC will start reporting its clinical quality measures through its EHRs. "It's part of what we're all groaning under, trying to get our EMRs ready for that," she says. "I do see that as a huge leap forward in making the EMR more sophisticated with workflows, order sets, alerts, and all the benefits that are supposed to improve patient care and core measure compliance."

Speaking with Morice, I was reminded that CPOE itself isn't a one-and-done act, but more of a process. "You can use your CPOE order sets to help you meet those core measures," she says. "This year we're still abstracting charts manually, where human eyes have to go through the electronic chart and determine whether or not we've met our quality measures. And next year, that abstraction process has to be completely automated. That will involve a huge amount of EMR build effort between now and then to ensure that all required information is in the chart in codified electronic form in order for it to be counted."

And it's not all about quality: In 2014, 16 out of 29 core measures required will be value-based purchasing core measures, Morice notes.

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