Some Hospitals Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria - InformationWeek

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11/16/2010
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Some Hospitals Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria

Almost 25% can achieve 10 of the 14 core measures, according to survey by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

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Preliminary data from a HIMSS (Healthcare Information Information and Management Systems Society) survey of 687 hospitals reveal that nearly one quarter of respondents have the capability to achieve 10 or more of the 14 core measures that eligible hospitals must meet under the Meaningful Use Stage 1 criteria.

The data, released Monday, comes as hospitals prepare to demonstrate that their electronic health record (EHR) systems meet the government’s Meaningful Use guidelines to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.

For Stage 1, which begins in 2011, Meaningful Use requirements focus on electronically capturing health information in a coded format, using that information to track key clinical conditions, communicating that information for care coordination purposes, and initiating the reporting of clinical quality measures and public health information.

The key findings of the survey revealed that:

• Nearly one quarter (22 percent) of participating hospitals have the capability to achieve 10 or more of the required core measures in the Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements.

• Some 34 percent of respondents can achieve between five and nine of the core measures for Meaningful Use.

• Just over 40 percent (40.47 percent) of the market indicated they have the capability to meet five or more of the menu items for Meaningful Use.

"Our data indicate that hospitals have the capability now to meet some of the requirements for Meaningful Use, which is significant in the lead-up to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, because they indicate that healthcare organizations continue to move toward implementation of health IT," John P. Hoyt, executive vice president, HIMSS, said in a statement. "HIMSS Analytics will continue to monitor these trends as we track hospital readiness to meet Stage 1 deadlines for achieving Meaningful Use."

The criteria for Meaningful Use are based on a series of specific objectives, each tied to a measure that allows eligible professionals and hospitals to demonstrate that they are meaningful users of certified EHR technology.

The final rule divides the objectives into a "core" group of required objectives and a "menu set" of procedures from which providers may choose any five to defer in 2011-12. This gives hospitals latitude to pick their own path toward full EHR implementation and meeting meaningful use requirements.

HIMSS Analytics added questions on Meaningful Use to its annual survey of U.S. hospitals before the final rules were announced in July. Thus, the data reports on 12 of the 14 core and eight of the 10 menu requirements, since not all of the final requirements were initially included in the questions. Executives at HIMSS Analytics said that beginning in January, they will release quarterly updates on Meaningful Use compliance for healthcare organizations.

HIMSS Analytics, which is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), provides products, services and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies and consulting firms.

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