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Striving for Meaningful Use Stage 2

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2012

By eliminating those options that Halamka alluded to earlier, the cost of interfaces between the remaining disparate systems will drop from thousands of dollars per interface to hundreds of dollars. "There's still customization, but it's minor."

Although everyone speaks of meaningful use as a platform upon which to build tomorrow's innovations in medicine, there are complaints today about the lack of ease of use of EMRs.

"The cost to us in lost efficiency by implementing a health information system is somewhere between $300,000 and $750,000 in the first year," says Prentice Tom, MD, chief medical officer of CEP America, an Emeryville, Calif.–based provider of hospitalist services that sees 4.5 million patients annually.

To make up for the inefficiency, CEP hires scribes that cost about $27,000 per physician annually.

EMRs would be adopted more rapidly, and wouldn't require as many government incentives to acquire, if they included algorithms that present the useful information out of the record, Tom says.

"It's a fair indictment," Halamka says. "If it takes 47 clicks to write an e-prescription, as opposed to one click to order a CD on Amazon, something's wrong." Future meaningful use rules will require "some measure of usability" to address this, he says.

"The conversation has really got to be more about value for the money we are spending," Mostashari says. "Electronic health records are a necessary, though probably not sufficient part of that equation."

Reprint HLR0812-5


This article appears in the August 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.


Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Striving for Meaningful Use Stage 2"


FLPoggio (8/14/2012 at 10:50 AM)
And the rubber has yet to meet the road... 2,400 hospitals have attested and rec'd the $$$ from the feds. The check is already in their bank and no doubt spent. Remember the feds expect to see a 26 to 1 ROI on their IT investment. They allocated $30 billion in the budget for IT and stated they expect to see a $800 billion return. When was the last time you heard of any business generating a 26 to 1 ROI?? Also remember if the MU audit which started last month, turns up just one MU issue the feds take back all the MU money they paid. As the poet has written; "there's a hard rain that's gonna fall" Frank Poggio The Kelzon Group