CMIO, June 29, 2011
Evaluating hospital networks, data, drivers and device types should be completed before embarking on an interoperability strategy, said Bridget A. Moorman of BMoorman Consulting at the Association for the Advancement of the Medical Instrumentation conference & expo, June 25. Despite the lack of a clear and specific meaningful use definition of "interoperability," Moorman said the expected American Reinvestment and Recovery Act's stage 1 date for device interoperability is 2015. Identified in the legislation, hospitals must be able to electronically chart three vital signs, Moorman said: blood pressure, height and weight. Interestingly, the law does not specify that that information must be integrated electronically, therefore, it could even be typed into a computer, she said. While there is money tied to the MU legislation, she noted that the vague wording may be with regard to definitions and standards. "Stage 1 incentivizes clinicians to purchase EMRs," she said. "Even though there was a lot of background work to create the MU requirements, they, unfortunately, did not specify data standards. While you?re not required to have a fully electronic organization under those standards, MU might present an opportunity to begin your device integration journey."