EHRs Can't Measure Stage 1 Meaningful Use - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
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8/16/2010
12:17 PM
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EHRs Can't Measure Stage 1 Meaningful Use

Two-thirds of the quality reporting requirements aren't captured in current hospital electronic health record systems, finds CSC study.




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As hospitals gear up to meet Stage 1 of the meaningful use requirements under the federal government's electronic health record (EHR) incentives program, a new report concludes that EHRs will only be able to provide about a third of the data requirements for Stage 1 quality measures outlined in the final rule.

Not only is time working against putting in place the necessary technology to meet the requirements for computerized physician order entry (CPOE), problem list, and so forth, but the quality reporting requirement adds to the duties. In short, hospitals, doctors, and other clinicians have their work cut out for them.

"Much attention has been paid to some of the explicit data capture requirements for meaningful use -- computerized physician order entry in particular -- because so much work lies ahead for most U.S. hospitals to implement these functions. However, we believe that the quality reporting requirements for Stage 1, the first increment of meaningful use to be achieved, will be equally challenging," the report concludes.

"Hospital Quality Reporting: The Hidden Requirements of Meaningful Use," published last week by CSC, is one of the first reports that takes a critical look at the quality reporting piece of the final meaningful use rules that were issued in July.

The report's authors deconstructed the 15 required quality measures for Stage 1, the first increment of "meaningful use" to be achieved, to examine the set of unique data elements, types, and sources of electronic documentation needed.

"I don't think quality nurses in hospitals are surprised by our findings -- they live with quality measure specifications day in and day out. But others on the hospital's meaningful use team will be surprised by the gap in data capture for the quality measures," says Metzger.

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