Federal Survey: Docs Ramp up EHR Use, But not Ready for Stage 2

The National Center for Health Statistics in its latest survey of electronic health records use among office-based physicians finds many participating in the meaningful use program or intending to, but few ready for Stage 2.

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Comments (1)
One of the reasons why so few doctors are ready for the bulk of Stage 2 has to do with two interrelated limitations of current EHR systems. Increasingly, the data to create the requisite holistic view of the patient is in a multitude of systems, from specialist provider and/or hospital systems to proprietary telehealth systems. For example a specific patient's ER visit history may be in one or more hospital systems; the patient's nutritional and exercise information my be in a telehealth system which collects that data in real-time from a FitBit bracelet. A truly effective clinical decision support system will need all of those data points to meet the objectives (e.g. provide patient-specific education resources) of Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Current EHR's 1) don't know which systems constitute a specific patient's information ecosphere, and 2)do not have available to them an industry-standard data definition language to be able to gather data from multiple systems. The current state of the art is analogous to the silos of information which existed in the Financial Services industry in the 1980's. Just as that industry created an XML for financial data and advanced network capabilities for locating relevant systems/resources, so our industry needs to do the same. Only true systems and network interoperability will enable the realization of Meaningful Use objectives.

Avi Kamman, CTO MyOwnCare, LLC.
Posted by Avi K | Wednesday, January 22 2014 at 10:31AM ET
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