Though a large majority of healthcare organizations (70 percent) have met meaningful use electronic health record requirements, they have not been able to maximize the full potential of meaningful use, according to a recent survey conducted by Pittsburgh-based healthcare IT firm Stoltenberg Consulting. 

The survey of 211 hospital and physician practice IT professionals at HIMSS14 also revealed that lack of resources (50 percent) is or has been the biggest barrier to achieving meaningful use, followed by restricted time frames (23 percent), lack of buy-in from their organizations (15 percent), and competing health IT projects (12 percent).

"While many organizations may view meaningful use as a must-do regulatory requirement, it is actually much more. Organizations need to view meaningful use as a strategy, discipline and process that facilitates healthcare transformation and eases transitions to initiatives such as full patient engagement, value-based accountable care and population health management," said Shane Pilcher, vice president of Stoltenberg Consulting, in a written statement.

 "On the other hand, organizations most likely to maximize the full potential of meaningful use are those that treat it like a journey that, ultimately, will secure a future for promising developments such as mobile health, remote monitoring, care collaboration, medical home, population health management and accountable care," Pilcher added.

In addition, the survey identified ICD-10 (47 percent) as the hottest topic in health IT in 2014, followed by big data (27 percent), EHR implementation (16 percent) and meaningful use (10 percent). When it comes to big data, 40 percent of respondents to the question, "If big data is the next best thing, why do many HIT leaders view it as something in the distant future?" indicated that most healthcare organizations don't know what to do with all their data.


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