Why specialists don’t like their EHRs

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The list of reasons why specialists don’t like their EHRs could go on for pages, but what it really comes down to is this: most EHRs try to satisfy everyone’s needs, an impossible feat in a world with hundreds of medical specialties. Hospitals and primary care practices can sometimes make a one-size-fits-all EHR work, but specialists have a much harder time adjusting to having an EHR as part of their workflow.

A recent Black Book Rankings survey found that specialists are much less happy with their current EHR than family physicians are. However, most physicians place the blame on themselves. The top three reasons for considering a vendor switch all have to do with picking the right EHR:

  1. Solution does not meet the individual needs of the practice, including workflow (80 percent)
  2. The practice did not adequately assess its needs before selecting the original EHR (79 percent)
  3. Design of EHR is not suited for the practice specialty (77 percent)

Continue reading: Why specialists don’t like their EHRs

What the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Timeline Change Means for Providers

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Late Friday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) jointly announced some timeline changes for stages 2 and 3 of meaningful use. Stage 2 will be extended one year, pushing the start date for stage 3 back to 2017. Providers will have an extra year to meet stage 2 requirements, just like they did with stage 1.

According to the press release, “The goal of this change is two-fold: first, to allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements for Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.”

There is still some confusion regarding how the timeline changes will affect providers, though. Continue reading: What the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Timeline Change Means for Providers

2014 Meaningful Use: Is Your Vendor Ready?

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Over $16 billion has been paid out to eligible hospitals and providers through the EHR Incentive Programs. If the previous two years are any indication, many more attestations will roll in through the end of the year/beginning of next year as providers complete their 2013 reporting.

The steady stream of attestations and meaningful use incentives could see a sharp drop-off during 2014, however. As stated in the final rule for stage 2 of meaningful use, all practices must use a 2014-edition certified EHR in order to qualify for incentive payments, whether they are on stage 1 or stage 2.

However, very few EHR vendors have re-certified under the more stringent 2014 certification requirements. As of this month, only 27 companies have achieved full 2014 ambulatory certification, representing 53 products. Another 92 companies have achieved modular 2014 certification, representing 165 products.

Compare that to over 1,000 vendors and 3,000 EHR products that are certified under the current 2011 requirements. Continue reading: 2014 Meaningful Use: Is Your Vendor Ready?