Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
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Healthcare CIOs Optimistic About Meeting Meaningful Use

Survey finds that 90% believe they'll qualify for electronic health record incentive payments within the two years.

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"CIOs are still early in the discovery process. We don't yet have a complete understanding of the certification process and its impact on providers," Pamela McNutt, senior VP and CIO of Methodist Health System in Dallas, and chair of CHIME's policy steering committee, said in a statement. "The reality of what it will take to qualify for stimulus funding won't be fully known until our vendors have obtained certification."

While there is optimism about achieving meaningful use, CIOs expressed concerns about the challenges ahead. When asked to rate their top three concerns in achieving meaningful use, 25% of respondents cited certification of applications. These concerns include implementing or upgrading to a certified EHR; delays because of the new certification process; or the need to certify self-developed applications.

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) was the second most frequently mentioned concern, listed by 21% of respondents. Many hospital organizations have reported that they feel they have little or no leverage in encouraging physicians to use CPOE systems, and that the systems require a lot of work to implement and depend on other clinical systems to be in place to function at a high level.

Some 18% of CIOs rated requirements for capturing and/or submitting data on quality measures as a top concern. Most current clinical systems do not yet automate this data collection, which means organizations face the prospect of manually collecting and submitting this data.

The survey found that relaxed standards for qualifying for stimulus funding will have little to no impact on improving providers' chances, according to 75% of the respondents.

About 40% of respondents say they are well-positioned to achieve meaningful use with their current IT strategy and existing applications, while slightly more than half say they are accelerating their plans to implement EHRs or otherwise re-evaluating current health IT applications to obtain funding.

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