The electronic health records meaningful use programs has not improved the quality and efficiency of care and needs to be redone, a small coalition of industry leaders say in a letter to six Republican members of the Senate.
Unless the program is revamped, the Healthcare Innovation Council, led by outsource consultancy Anthelio urges a halt to meaningful use and that remaining funds for financial incentives be spent on providers who demonstrate meaningful use “through whatever means they choose.”
The coalition questions if the nation is getting its money’s work from meaningful use. “Why are we, as both health care providers and as consumers of health care (as well as taxpayers), not seeing noticeable improvements in quality, coordination, continuity and improved process from providers who have implemented EHRs? Instead, what we are seeing is a massive disruption of providers’ patient care focus as they chase ‘meaningful use’ dollars; increased burdens on physicians, nurses and clinicians since EHRs as currently designed report more, not less, of their time and effort; and an unprecedentedly huge expenditure by providers on EHR hardware and software at a time when providers are under severe financial pressures.”
Congress’ intent in establishing the meaningful use program was to improve care, but what the industry got was a program with a focus to “just get EHRs up and running” without regard to how they affect patient care, the coalition argues.
Members contend that strong clinician involvement in redesigning EHRs will help the technology mirror the way care actually is delivered, engage patients more and make care transitions safer. Members of the Healthcare Innovation Council include:
Robert Burns, PhD, MBA, chair of the Health Care Management Department at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Wharton Center for Health Management and Economics; Hud Connery, MHA, CEO of iVantage, a healthcare data analytics company; Kevin Hickey, founder and principal with HES Advisors, a consultancy to healthcare growth companies; Julie Klapstein, former founding CEO and Vice Chair of Availity, a health information network; Rick Kneipper, CEO (Interim), Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, and Co-Founder of Anthelio Healthcare Solutions; Jack Lord, MD, former COO of University of Miami Health System; former SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Humana Inc.; and former COO, American Hospital Association; John McConnell, MD, CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; EVP for Health Affairs, Wake Forest University; Professor of Urology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Sharon Riley, former CEO of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center University Hospitals; former COO of Anne Arundel Medical Center; and MaryAnn Stump, RN, MBA, former SVP, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Chair, External Advisory Board, Yale College of Nursing; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow National Advisory Board. The Council was formed by Anthelio Healthcare Solutions Inc. in 2011.
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