Meaningful use: ready and willing, but not sure how able

Meaningful use: ready and willing, but not sure how able

Summary: The good news? Hospitals are halfway to EHR system adoption. The bad news? Lack of confidence in the ability to get to Stage 2.

TOPICS: Health

A recent survey conducted by audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG, reveals that a majority of administrators at hospitals and health systems identify their organizations as being well along in completing electronic health record (EHR) system adoption. However, many of them are expressing doubt about their ability to meet the new EHR standards.

The good news is that a recent survey found that the majority (71 percent) of the hospital and health system business leaders said they are more than 50 percent of the way to completing EHR system adoption. The bad news is, essentially, their own lack of confidence about being able to meet Stage 2 requirements.

See also: Stage 2 meaningful use has some advantages for patients

Understanding the Stage 1 requirements has been a big hurdle in and of itself. Then, there's making sure there's a real ability to actually demonstrate meaningful use. Training staff, incorporating this kind of change into the healthcare workplace so that it fits naturally into the clinical workflow, having the dedicated personnel to manage the process, and acquiring the proper technology are among the many other hurdles.

But the map keeps moving! That's the worst part.

Now everybody has to get ready for Stage 2. The old processes have to change in order to fit the new tools that will be in use, and the ship has to be tight and sail smoothly enough to go with the flow as further stages of meaningful use are incorporated into the mix. That's a pretty tall order for some of these leviathan organizations that are used to time-honored but no-longer-viable ways of doing things.

If you'd like to learn more, check out KPMG's webcast entitled Demonstrating Meaningful Use of EHRs: The top 10 compliance challenges for Stage 1 and what's new with 2.

If you'd prefer more reading to a webcast, visit The KPMG Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Institute for insights into emerging issues and healthcare business trends.

Topic: Health


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • Hurdles

    EHR implementations face both high-tech and low-tech hurdles.
  • Teething problems

    will always be the case in new systems implementations.

    It starts at user acceptance testing, but that's only the tip of an awfully huge iceberg. Re-evaluating the system down the track long after it goes live? Now there's the real gauge on how the technology has really turned out.
  • Might help on subjects like these

    if you include a paragraph explaining, in brief synopsis form, what this subject at hand is (in this case, the EHR system, and why it's being pushed for adoption). You may know the subject well but don't assume your readership will. It's kind of a turnoff to have to try to determine these basic things by reading between the lines, or clicking links to fill in the gaps.
  • Health record garbage will be a problem

    My spent several days in the hospital last year and obtained a copy of her records after discharge.

    The records were garbage and unreliable simply because the nurses entering information into the records forget to change patient records - leaving my wife with information about another patient.

    In "the old days" that error could be corrected pretty easily. I have a feeling that EHRs are going to make it far more difficult to clean garbage out of health records, leaving them far less reliable.

    This leaves us with two issues that have to be addressed. The first is providing the patient with access to their records at all times - even if on a read only basis. The other issue is the ability for the patient to get the garbage cleaned up immediately.

    BTW, my wife is a physical therapist and has been around patient records for decades - making it easier for her to spot problems.