Gvt Rules in EHR Implementation

From the EMR and HIPAA Blog, a concise example of how stimulus money for EHR’s can lead to inefficiencies in electronic investment:

. . . the stage 1 meaningful use criteria really focuses on EMR’s having the ability to share patient information, but doesn’t actually require them to share information. In stage 2 and stage 3, my understanding is that the requirements to start sharing this clinical information will be a major part of the criteria.

. . .  let’s imagine a clinical office spends more than they should on a certified EHR and show stage 1 meaningful use. No doubt they spent a fair amount of time dealing with the reporting requirements of stage 1 meaningful use. As with any EMR implementation they made a lot of changes in their office and for the most part their [sic] satisfied with getting the EMR stimulus money the first year.

Well, stage 2 meaningful use rolls in and now they’re required to start sending their patient data to some state designated HIE [Health Information Exchange] (or other similar entity). What’s going to happen if their state doesn’t have an HIE where they can send the data? Or what if you’re from a small state like Delaware or Montana (small in people) and your EMR vendor decides that they’re not going to build the features required for you to interact with your state EMR?

The example is not surprising but it’s always a good idea to keep track of how the massive funds that can kick-start an industry will inevitably lead to distortions.

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