We’ve been hearing a lot about the stimulus funds available as incentives for coming up to speed with meaningful use of EHR (Electronic Health Records). Indeed, not only are funds available for early adoption, penalties for not adopting will kick in after 2015.
According to an analytics report by HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems), only one out of ten hospitals actually meets the core measures as they’ve been set out.
The good news is, this ten percent is actually an increase in hospitals expected to be able to meet the Stage 1 criteria. The bad news is that a Stage 1 level of meaningful use compliance isn’t likely to make much of a positive difference in health outcomes.
However, progress is progress. As a nurse and patient advocate, I feel it’s important not to loose sight of the reason we’re doing all this: better patient experience and outcomes.
Whatever efforts it takes to eventually get us to a place in tech where patients actually feel the increased convenience — and have full access to their own medical information with the same speed and reliability as the organizations responsible for deciding whether their care will be paid for or denied — should be supported.
Another bit of good news is that about half of the hospitals surveyed have conducted some sort of security risk analysis, which is really important when it comes to safeguarding patient data. In our modern era of high-tech hijinks, identity protection has become yet another aspect of wellness that needs to be considered and provided for by our health care practitioners.
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