THE kISS OF DEATH TO An ElECTROnIC HEAl TH RECORDS MEAningful use effort is boiling down the criteria to a checklist of to-do items
for physicians. That’s the word from Jeff loughlin, project manager at the
Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and executive director of the Regional Extension Center of new Hampshire.
“Physicians hate lists and once you think of meaningful use as a list,
you are doomed to failure,” loughlin said at the Medical Group Management Association Conference in San Antonio. The program does provide
qualification criteria in list format, he acknowledged, but the way to
streamline adoption of meaningful use is to describe the criteria not as
discrete tasks, but rather as steps part of any practice’s given workflow.
loughlin then proceeded to assign each Stage 2 meaningful use measure to broad workflow categories, beginning with the pre-visit and ending with post-visit follow-up. In between are such steps as registration,
intake, visit, and check-out. At each step, various MU measures—such as
capturing patient demographics—can be done at check-in. Only a handful of the measures require hands-on work by physicians, he noted, such
as reviewing lab results and creating the problem list.
loughlin warned of several common industry practices that threaten
to undermine the purpose of meaningful use to improve patient care.
Some practices are merely taking paper-based processes and applying
them to the computer. One practice he visited continues to document
on paper and just transfers the minimum necessary data into its EHR
to qualify. That approach won’t work in later stages of MU, which put
emphasis on sharing data outside the organization and with patients.
Other practices rely too heavily on “out of the box” software, implementing alerts without modifying them, loughlin contended. That can lead to
needless alerts, which are a nuisance.
The Kiss of Death for
Meaningful Use Efforts
A U.S. SEnATE SUBCOMMITTEE IS
looking into data mining, collection and
distribution practices by nine companies
to find the impact on accountability and
privacy with personal information.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), the chairman of the U.S. Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science and
Transportation, issued letters noting a
growing concern over the amount of personal information available online. Rockefeller goes on to mention FTC rulings
on the lack of self-regulation among data
brokers and some recent personal data
“Because your industry has monetized
consumer data, it is critical that we understand what information companies like
yours are already collecting and selling.
Yet, answers to basic questions remain
elusive,” Sen. Rockefeller wrote.
Vendors that received the letters are
Acxiom, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion,
Epsilon, Reed Elsevier (lexisnexis), Data-
logix, Rapleaf and Spokeo.
In one of the letters, to Acxiom President and CEO Scott Howe dated Oct. 9,
Rockefeller outlines 12 primary questions
on the mechanism and methods in place
over the last few years to collect data, and
how that information is then shared with
third-party brokers. Rockefeller requested
a response to these questions by nov. 2.
Howe, in a statement to Information
Management magazine, said: “Acxiom
looks forward to continuing to work with
the Congress to help the members gain a
deeper understanding of Acxiom’s busi-
ness and how people and the economy
benefit from the appropriate use of data.”
Data collection and mining efforts have
trickled up to the attention of the federal
government as the technology and meth-
ods have become more sophisticated.
welcoming a de-
cision from the
HHS Office of In-
to review the
The review is in
no one ques-
tions the need
for auditors to
notes in a letter
tinue to be frus-
trated with the
whether the hos-