EHR: Why the rush?

The following is a comment I wrote to the healthcareitnews.com post, “BLUMENTHAL: EHRS WILL BECOME ‘AN ABSOLUTE REQUISITE’ FOR DOCS”.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings– …

The time has also come to ask the question, “Why the rush?”  Is the pronouncement that within the next ten years we will see widespread adoption of EHR in conflict with the timing of the Meaningful Use incentives?  It seems that way to me.

Whereas we may see an “upward slope in the adoption curve” within the next year or two as hospitals begin the process of selecting and implementing an EHR, we will not see so much as a hiccup in the slope of the Meaningful Use curve.

Why?  I think there are several explanations.

  • Not enough providers are far enough along to even attempt to pass a Meaningful Use audit.
    • Will they complete the requirements
    • If yes, will they pass the audit
    • Of those who have attempted to do the heavy lifting of EHR and CPOE, they do not know the Stage 2 & 3 requirements.  Those requirements may be enough to ensure nobody passes the audit.
    • To those providers just underway, whose board insists that they complete the installation in time to qualify for the incentives—good luck.  Many will make poor selection decisions which they will support with even worse implementations.
    • To those who have yet to start, there is no chance they will meet the target dates.

So what’s next?  What would you do if you were having a party and learned nobody could come that night?  You’d change the date.  Washington will do the same.

What does that mean if you are a provider?  I think it means you have enough time to do it right, even when the conventional wisdom is pushing you to hurry.

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2 thoughts on “EHR: Why the rush?

  1. Pingback: EHR: Why the rush? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy?

  2. Pingback: ICMCC News Page » EHR: Why the rush?

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