Melissa Joubert: ...many other barriers currently exist. For example, some systems that claim to be certified for meaningful use simply don’t offer a fully integrated report module. I have seen cases where either the numbers are skewed, or there are no numbers showing at all even when a practice swears they are entering all necessary data.
The most commonly deferred menu objective, at 84%, involved providing a summary of care to patients at transitions to other physicians or hospitals. That was followed by, at 80%, using the EHR to send reminders to specific groups of patients about preventive care. Sixty-eight percent of doctors deferred on syndromic surveillance — sending information to public health agencies. And 66% deferred on being able to give patients electronic access to their records. The least-deferred items involved tasks that did not require outside transfers of information: checking drug formularies (15% deferral rate) and generating patient lists (25%).
“It is a little concerning to us that the least popular menu objectives demonstrate one of the biggest hurdles with all of the electronic initiatives, and that is interoperability,” Elizabeth Shinberg Holland, director of the Health IT Initiatives Group in the Office of E-Health Standards and Services at CMS, said during the briefing.
Health information exchange was the most common Meaningful Use criteria doctors deferred in stage 1, but it's required in stage 2. Will they be ready to comply?
Twila Brase: They call it "meaningful use" (MU) but it should be called "breach of trust." Doctors who refuse to share patient data with the federal government will be penalized in 2015.
“But the path of EHR innovation is not solely determined by technological progress. Other factors such as legal requirements, business drivers, and accountable care organizations and programs can affect the rate and type of change as well. While meaningful use has fundamentally altered the EHR industry and system design as a whole, these other factors stand to become the main drivers of change in the future.”
In other words, EHR development is more driven by public policy than usefulness of the technology in practice.