Study Finds EHR Adoption Growing, But Meaningful Use Remains a Challenge
Editor's Note: For an executive summary of IVANS 2012 Healthcare Provider Survey, contact Cecile Locurto at Cecile.Locurto@ivans.com or (203) 905-7330.
IVANS Inc. a national health information exchange, announced in a Feb. 20 press release that while 42 percent of healthcare providers surveyed currently use either electronic health records or electronic medical records systems, 39 percent have no plans yet to implement stage one of meaningful use.
The survey was conducted electronically January 5-12, 2012, and the results represent responses from over 700 healthcare providers from across the United States.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 defined Meaningful Use as a provider using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly. Stage one of meaningful use sets the baseline for electronic data capture and information sharing. The IVANS study demonstrates it is not enough to simply have an EHR or EMR system in place, but providers must be able to share and use the data in a meaningful manner, or they risk a possible reduction in their Medicare fees or could lose out on financial incentives.
Of the 39 percent surveyed that have no plans for implementing stage one of meaningful use, it is not surprising that 44 percent (represented by home care, long term care and hospices) are not yet eligible to participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. What is surprising is that a fairly large number (26 percent) of providers (represented by hospitals and private practices) are eligible for EHR incentives but still have no plans for implementing stage one of meaningful use.
Michael Schramm, IVANS president of healthcare services, said, "Whether eligible for meaningful use incentives or not, many providers point to such barriers as waiting on technology upgrades from vendors, integrating new changes into current workflow processes, and understanding and adopting complex Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) within a short period of time. If these issues are not resolved and integrated into subsequent stages of meaningful use, it will be difficult for providers to become meaningful users, thus resulting in further misalignment of financial incentives down the road."
What is your biggest challenge preventing you from reaching the meaningful use stage?