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CHIME, HIMSS surveys gauge nation's meaningful use prep

Feeling left behind in the Health IT rat race? Don’t. Two new surveys of hospital CIOs show that few hospitals are really ready for meaningful use, but most are striving to get there. They also provide a yardstick from which you can measure your own facility’s progress.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and HIMSS Analytics both recently released new figures pertaining to meaningful use implementation and EHR adoption in general among its membership. Among the interesting figures:

  • According to the 198 CHIME respondents, 26% indicated they are ready for meaningful use stage 1 by fulfilling the requisite core and menu criteria, although half that (13%) actually have received incentive checks.
  • The HIMSS Analytics report surveying 778 hospitals showed that only 10% of surveyed hospitals were ready, although many more were close: 30% indicated they could meet at least 10 of the 14 required core criteria as well as the required 5 menu items.
  • 53% of CHIME respondents signed up for EHR incentives, and another 29% are waiting until fiscal 2012 for strategic reasons.
  • The HIMSS report indicated that academic medical centers are ahead of their non-academic counterparts when it comes to meaningful use readiness.
  • 21% of CHIME respondents said they haven’t yet installed an EHR system.
  • 18% of CHIME respondents said they didn’t register because they didn’t think they’d satisfy enough meaningful use objectives to qualify, while 6% of HIMSS respondents indicated they couldn’t meet even one objective.

Another interesting component of the HIMSS Analytics report: About half of the survey respondents claimed to have conducted a security risk analysis. It’s part of HIPAA regulations as well as tied to federal EHR incentive payments.

With health IT — and wireless network implementations — taking an expanded role in the health data workflow, network security might not be No. 1  on the CIO’s punch list, but if it’s set up like the Billboard pop charts it would be on its way to the top … with a bullet. This survey shows that even hospitals that are only in the process of completing their EHR implementations are conducting IT security risk analyses as they go along. It’s an important enough topic that we’ll be delving into it on a podcast with a HIMSS expert next week, as well as make it an ongoing focus of more in-depth coverage.

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