The Future of Meaningful Use

The Future of Meaningful Use
This week, I came upon two blog posts that I thought were interesting in light of my last EMR Straight Talk post, which suggested that EHR adoption was being driven to the tipping point by the meaningful use incentives. Increasing numbers of physicians—many of whom were initially motivated by the government’s incentives—are beginning to question the real value of complying with the program’s ever-more-demanding requirements. Whether or not meaningful use thrives as the program progresses will ultimately be determined by the physician market, but sentiment is clearly mounting that too much is being demanded.

In a recent post on the venerable HIStalk blog, Dr. Jayne reminds physicians of why they went into medicine, and she challenges the government to justify new requirements by “providing concrete evidence that jumping through the hoops you’re holding in front of us will actually help patients in a truly meaningful way.” Analyzing the trade-off between the incentives and productivity, she worries about not only the impact on physician income, but also the impact on the number of patients who can receive care. I particularly appreciated her conclusion that what we should be seeking is “evidence-based Meaningful Use.”

An editorial published on the AMA’s American Medical News website, titled “Meaningful Use’s Stage 2: A Recipe for Failure,” highlights the AMA’s concerns about the Proposed Rule, concluding that the requirements are simply “too demanding” and will turn physicians into cynics, rather than participants in the EHR program.

2 thoughts on “The Future of Meaningful Use

  1. The way I look at meaningful use and EHR is as an extension of our tools to heal the hurt and practice the art of medicine.

    My short experience with this, and especially with patient responses, has been very gratifying–but it has added work of course.

    The problems and concerns I see are lack of stability, financially acceptable infrastructure and IT wizards to help. The EHR and meaningful use machine would go smoothly if the founders and/or architects of HITECT had been practicing medicine–rather than being paper pushers–to bring about ease of operations, not just for health care providers, but for patients and the team.

    Still I think meaningful use has a positive aspect as enisined safety quality and cost!

    Best wishes for the leaders and hopefully they coordinate activity from the chaos and make it happen.


  2. Evan:

    Great post. I see MU2 as basically taking some of the optional stuff in MU1 and making it less “optional” and upping the ante on some of the existing criteria. Which part (or perhaps both) do you think is blocking the critical path to even higher adoption?

    Also, it seems to me that adoption continues to grow and other than increase complaints from providers (whether justified or not), doesn’t upping the MU requirements lead to more adoption? Or are we now at the point when it may all go bad?

    Thanks for the great blog!

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