Has MU failed its mission?

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The meaningful use program was designed to drive the adoption of EHRs, but a new study suggests an outcome far from the target.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association concludes there is weak evidence of MU's impact on EHR adoption. The study authors believe MU and associated incentive payments had a statistically insignificant impact on adoption.

Researchers found the adoption of EHR systems may have been 7 percentage points higher than what was predicted had there been no MU incentives. However they suggest the growth is insignificant because MU wasn't necessarily the impetus for increased adoption. The model used in the study suggests adoption was driven by "imitation" effects (physicians mimicking their peers or responding to mandates). The authors found insignificant "innovation" effects, implying little enthusiasm from physicians leading in technology adoption.

The authors found their conclusions to be in line with other studies indicating EHRs negatively impact productivity, lack data sharing features and require more interoperability capabilities.   

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