A survey of 120 hospital CIOs finds that half believe their organization will meet the first set of electronic health records meaningful use criteria in time to get incentive payments in 2011, and a full 80 percent worry about being able to meet expanded criteria in 2015.
Later stage criteria that is worrisome includes using advanced decision support, providing and populating personal health records, and improving health outcomes through data exchange with outside organizations.
New York-based consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP surveyed the CIOs, all members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, during the second quarter of 2010. The firm also conducted in-depth interviews with 14 CIOs or leaders of delivery systems, health information exchanges, insurers and regional extension centers. Other survey results include:
* Lack of clarity and a final rule are hindering meaningful use preparations. Ninety four percent of respondents worry about meeting reporting requirements to demonstrate meaningful use.
* More than a third of respondents are concerned about the readiness of their information technology vendors to support meaningful use. In particular, 44 percent worry about the capabilities of their health information exchange.
* Another big worry is the existing national infrastructure to support the advanced EHRs and extensive data exchange needed for meaningful use. "Healthcare organizations are building high-performance race cars to travel back country roads," says Daniel Garrett, leader of PwC's health information technology practice.
* Provider organizations that have adequately engaged physicians, patients and insurers are more likely to be ready to apply for incentive payments in 2011.
A report on the survey, "Ready or Not: On the Road to Meaningful Use of EHRs and Health IT," is available at pwc.com/us/meaningfuluse.
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