Evan Steele, CEO of SRS, a vendor of a hybrid electronic health record system that includes extensive use of document imaging and management software, has not been a fan of the meaningful use program.

Calling traditional ambulatory EHRs unusable and productivity sapping, Steele a year ago chastised the federal government for "endorsing the exact technology that has a 50 percent failure rate."

But now it's a different time and marketplace, and SRS is getting ready to have its technology certified as supporting meaningful use requirements.

"We as a company heard loud and clear from our physicians of their desire to participate now and in the future in the meaningful use program," Steele says.

A year ago, many SRS clients weren't interested in the meaningful use program, but that's changed, Steele acknowledges. The final rule put in a lot more flexibility, including permitting certain exclusions for specialty physicians, which is a sizable percentage of SRS' client base. The exclusions mean specialists don't have to meet certain meaningful use criteria that are not appropriate for their specialty, opening the door to making achievement of meaningful use possible for many specialists.

Now, SRS will seek certification this winter of 14 EHR modules, and go for Complete EHR certification later in 2011.

--Joseph Goedert


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