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Volume 3, Number 2, March/April 2015

Meaningful use a mixed bag for development of EHR systems

By now, six years after the HITECH Act set out $30 billion in incentives for healthcare providers to adopt and effectively use electronic health records, it's clear that the federal government's meaningful use program has dramatically shaped the technological development of EHR systems. But whether those changes have been beneficial on the whole or have hampered EHR vendors' research and development efforts is a debate that still simmers as the end of the meaningful use era comes into sight in the next few years. Some vendors have long grumbled about the emphasis on attaining certain measures in the attestation process and the resultant need to build tracking functions into EHRs, claiming that regulatory pressure has taken away from work to make EHRs easier to use. Physicians often complain that many systems are cumbersome and hard to navigate. "A lot of work has gone on around that measurement piece, and it has diverted resources from efforts to deliver functions that customers are asking for," said Mark Segal, chairman of the ...

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