What are the risks of HIT and EHR?

It is refreshing to know that the voices I am hearing need not be my own.  When I try to summarize the issues for my own edification, I always circle back to the same few issues.

• No single person is both responsible and in authority regarding HIT and EHR. Provider-world pauses with each new pronouncement from Washington as though the missing EHR Dead Sea Scrolls have just been discovered floating in the reflecting pool.
• Those who implemented EHR did so without any idea that rules would be imposed after the fact.
• EHR is expected to serve two business models:

o Washington’s N x M patient/doctor connectivity effort
o A provider’s unique business objectives, none of which have anything to do with a patient in Atlanta being able to connect to a doctor in Anchorage.
• What model would providers be following if there were no Meaningful Use
• If the current EHR national rollout model was any good, providers would be racing to the front of the line to implement EHR instead of having to be offered rebates.
• The national rollout plan lacks viability for several reasons:

o No standards
o HIEs are each being developed in their own vacuum
o A horde of vendors whose mission does not tie to the national rollout or the providers’ business model and who have no incentive to adopt standards
o The requirements and dates for Meaningful Use will probably change once providers have tailored their systems to meet Stage 1
o An ROI can’t be calculated on meeting Meaningful Use
o Both the likelihood and the impact of healthcare reform on HIT and EHR, just got vaguer by some order of magnitude.

I believe firmly the right EHR and CPOE will be great for hospitals. Providers will be better served by finding answers to the question, “What’s in it for me,” rather than, “What do they want me to do?” Unless of course, providers want them running their business.

 

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