A federally funded study finds that criteria under the electronic health records meaningful use program “fall short of achieving meaningful use in any practical sense.” Don’t believe it.

The report contends that interoperability in the meaningful use program is basically meaningless, amounting to “little more than replacing fax machines with the electronic delivery of page-formatted medical records.” And that has some merit, but interoperability isn’t the end-all toward meaningfulness. The report then offers a comprehensive software architecture for Stage 3 of the meaningful use program that would create a truly interoperable health data infrastructure. That’s wonderful if report authors don’t care about what is really feasible for the health care industry during Stage 2 now, and Stage 3 in just three years.

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