IT Vendors Share Meaningful Use Concerns, Recommendations

During a May 27 meeting of the meaningful use workgroup of the Health IT Policy Committee, several vendor representatives explained their concerns about the current meaningful use timeline and requirements.

GE Healthcare's Jon Zimmerman, the vice president and general manager of clinical business solutions, said the inability of vendors and providers to anticipate the next stage's requirements led to vendors designing systems and providers developing workflows that needed to be completely altered for the next stage. This has led to stage 2 being more difficult to achieve than stage 1, especially with the "all or nothing" attestation model. He recommended stage 3 be focused on "greater and more effective use of robust stage 2 requirements and associated EHR capabilities, and any needed interoperability enhancements."

Leigh Burchell, Allscripts' director of government affairs as well as the vice chair of the executive committee for the Electronic Health Record Association, told the workgroup the challenges encountered in stage 2 mean stage 3's timing should be altered. "It is essential that we take advantage of the opportunity that we have to avoid repeating the stage 1 and stage 2 timing challenges for providers and vendors," she said. Her recommendations included allowing at least 18 months between the announcement of the new stage's requirements and the start of the attestation period to give vendors time to develop the necessary software.

These concerns and recommendations were echoed by Catherine Britton, the head of Siemens Health Services' product solutions team. She also noted certification-only criteria, EHR functionalities that products are required to have, but providers are not required to use, unnecessarily increase the complexity of EHR development. "Certification requirements should be line of sight to prioritized, outcome-oriented provider requirements," she said.

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

Upgrades, Replacements Will Continue to Expand EHR Market
Health IT's Effect on Inter-Hospital Competition
Atrius Health Exec to CMS: End MU Stages, Instead Gradually Add Criteria

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