Q&A: Karen DeSalvo on Meaningful Use, ONC Reorg

Scott Mace, June 10, 2014

That's what we're asking for some feedback on.

There are some small and rural critical access providers who sometimes are at the end of the queue for an install, or perhaps it takes them longer to change the workflows, etc., so we want to make sure that the original policy goal of bringing as many providers along, that any issues with 2014-certified product availability etc. don't get in the way of that.

We want to understand if the flexibility in that makes sense, and we do want people to know that we do want to progress, and that there is an opportunity for this country to continue pressing forward.

Some of the things in Stage 2, for example, around transitions of care and the opportunity for patients to be a part of the access to the data, are an important policy goal, and this is something we want to see advance.

HLM: At Datapalooza, Atul Gawande was talking about the number of faxes he still processes a week. That's the issue. Some physicians don't want to work that hard on modernization. On the other hand, the current status quo is unacceptable.

DeSalvo: And most providers, once converted to an EHR, want to stay on it. It's a much better way to get your data, especially if they have systems that are Web-based. They can access [data] after hours when they are on call or they are offsite.

It's really enabling, but you're touching on what is the important next chapter of work for everyone, whether it's ONC's thinking, CMS, vendors, [or] the innovation community. How do we make the systems such that they're enabling and supporting workflow and better workflow, instead of just having the fax system become electronic.

There are better ways that it can be done—ways to present data that actually can really support care. That is the exciting next chapter, because the technology is allowing for it more now that the data is in the EHR.

We want it to come out in such a way that it is more user-friendly, that it enhances safety, enhances quality, and makes the workflow really something's that better, more efficient.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.

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