Health care information technology professionals are weighing in on the proposed stage 2 criteria of the meaningful use program and, much as in the stage 1 process, they’re asking for policymakers to curb their enthusiasm.
Hospitals and doctors need more time to assess how well they’ve fared in stage 1 of the incentive program before moving on to stage 2 and adopting another set of criteria to incorporate into their use of electronic health records (EHRs), according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
“CHIME believes that it would not be prudent to move to stage 2 until about 30% of [eligible hospitals and eligible providers] have been able to demonstrate EHR [meaningful use] under stage 1,” the organization wrote in a letter to the Health IT Policy Committee. That committee is charged with making meaningful use recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).
Among CHIME’s concerns are stage 2’s greater use of clinical-decision support tools and electronic notes. Providers need more flexibility for implementing a large number of these tools before they are ready to do so, according to the organization. “For the foreseeable future, we believe it is much more important to focus attention on [computerized physician order entry], especially with [clinical decision support], than on electronic notes.”
The deadline for submitting comments to ONC is today.
ONC officials will be on hand at the upcoming Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., to discuss a range of issues pertaining to meaningful use and other federal policies related to EHR adoption.