MU Attestation Not Associated With Care Quality, According to Brigham and Women's Hospital Study

Meeting meaningful use criteria was not correlated with performance on clinical quality measures in a study conducted at clinics affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Researchers compared the performance on seven quality measures of 540 clinic physicians who had attested to meaningful use stage 1 and 318 clinic physicians who had not. Results showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups' quality scores.

The study's results differ from other recent studies that have found achieving meaningful use improves care quality. For example, a study in Health Services Research found physicians who have attested to meaningful use are more likely to reap the clinical benefits of electronic health record systems.

Lisa M. Kern, MD, and Rainu Kaushal, MD, both of the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and the lead researchers on the study at the Brigham and Women's clinics, believe there are too many outside factors, such as physicians' clinical experience and the length of time they have had an EHR system, that make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions from studies like theirs.

Additionally, they note the criteria for meeting meaningful use stage 1 is more focused on using EHRs than using them to improve care; those requirements won't begin until the later stages. "Stage 3 is expected to begin in 2017 and to reward providers for not only reporting the level of quality provided but for improving on that level as well," they write in the study. "Thus, the full effects of meaningful use on quality may not be measurable until stages 2 or 3."    

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

Report: EHR Satisfaction, Vendor Loyalty Surges Among Primary Care Physicians
Study: Specialists May Struggle in Meeting MU2 Patient Engagement Requirements
HIMSS Lobbies for MU2 Year One Extension, Other MU2 Changes

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