What benefit is there to meeting Meaningful Use?

Commercials bug me.  Big surprise.

You have probably seen the commercial for the Sleep Number Bed.  A bare mattress, a glass of wine on the mattress, a bowling ball is dropped on the mattress.  The glass of wine does not spill.  That makes some people rush out and buy the mattress.  Why?  For the security in knowing that just in case they leave a glass of wine on their mattress and then happen to drop a bowling ball on it, the wine will not spill.

That dog don’t hunt unless you happen to be opening a bowling alley/Motel 6.  The company is trying to entice you on the merits of doing something by asking you to make the leap of faith by equating the bowling ball falling on the bed to having your spouse get in or out of the bed without disturbing your sleep.

A feint.  A maneuver designed to distract or mislead you from the real purpose.  Meaningful Use.  Certification.  A feint.  Designed to distract or mislead you from the reason you need an EHR.  The terms of Meaningful Use, that is, what is meaningful to your organization should be set by your organization, not some national standard applicable to every hospital in the country.  Hospitals are not ubiquitous—the Meaningful Use standards are.  How can a single set of standards be in line with what you require?

What’s the feint?  Certification, cash incentives, Regional Extension Centers.  A full court press trying to get hospitals to do what the feds want it to do in order to meet their goal of a nationwide interconnected healthcare system.

What proof, other than a check, has anyone offered that you benefit from meeting Meaningful Use?

Should you try to meet Meaningful Use?  I think not.  There is no ROI, and the full set of standards have yet to be published.  What should you do?  Have a glass of wine, or better yet—go bowling.  Don’t forget to buy one of those snazzy bowling shirts.

saint Paul M. Roemer
Chief Imaginist, Healthcare IT Strategy

1475 Luna Drive, Downingtown, PA 19335
+1 (484) 885-6942

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3 thoughts on “What benefit is there to meeting Meaningful Use?

  1. You’re right on the mark, Paul. Great editorial! “Meaningful Use” is the first “cash for klunkers” scheme that is trying to push unproven technology on physicians who can ill afford paying for it.


  2. This is a solution looking for a problem. There is no ROI for the traditional EHR that just gives you a repository and interoperability. Aside from the requirement to provide patients with a copy of their medical record, if, as and when they ask for it, its silly to insist that this be electronic. What percent of patients will be able to do anything with it?


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