Interoperability Needs More Than Fired-Up Buyers
By only requiring a minimum of interoperability in Stage 1 of meaningful use, and marginally more in Stage 2, and meanwhile not addressing the workflow issues I've described, ONC is probably singlehandedly responsible for institutionalizing a certain level of incompatibility between systems, if not on the device side, then certainly in the EHR space.
Perhaps it couldn't be helped, but critics continue to lambast meaningful use as too much of a stimulus program, and not enough of a true systems-based approach to sharing healthcare information in this country.
I realize it's easy to sit and take potshots at meaningful use these days. The recent announcement that extensive hardship exemptions will be considered for achieving Stage 2 compliance in 2014 is a concession by CMS that the program is struggling.
But that will not stop critics, especially on Capitol Hill, from continuing to pound the table, perhaps overly simplistically, demanding the interoperability that they thought their billions were buying.
Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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