Study: Meaningful Use Changes How Hospitals Implement EHRs

Hospitals working toward meaningful use attestation often implement electronic health record parts and functions in a different order than hospitals not as focused on meaningful use, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Researchers used data from the 2008 American Hospital Association's IT Supplement to determine the sequence in which more than 2,700 hospitals across the country implemented various EHR functions.

The results showed a similar EHR adoption trajectory among hospitals — patient demographic and ancillary results functions went live first, and physician notes and clinical reminders were often put in place last. However, the researchers noted those hospitals going for meaningful use often implemented the functionalities required by stage 1 later than other hospitals.

"[M]any functions emphasized in stage 1 meaningful use are typically adopted later in the sequence, in particular clinical guidelines and medication computerized physician order entry, suggesting that meaningful use may change the planned prioritization of EHR function adoption," according to the study's authors. "These findings will help policymakers anticipate the impact of meaningful use, and how it may vary for different types of hospitals."

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

Most Patients Expect EHRs, Only Half Trust Them
IT Vendors Share Meaningful Use Concerns, Recommendations
Upgrades, Replacements Will Continue to Expand EHR Market

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