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CHIME rallies others in asking for meaningful use implementation aid

Russ Branzell discusses why physician and other medical associations joined CHIME in asking HHS for meaningful use implementation relief.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and 47 other healthcare organizations told the federal government that its electronic health record initiative is in danger unless everyone is allowed to slow down this year.

In this podcast recorded at the CHIME CIO Forum preceding HIMSS 2014, Russ Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, explains that the speed at which providers are being asked to upgrade EHRs could potentially endanger patient safety. Also, if relief and flexibility are not granted, many providers will abandon meaningful use implementation in favor of other pressing, more costly IT initiatives that they can't ignore. There simply aren't enough IT resources to meet all the various federal health IT program rules such as ICD-10 implementation and quality reporting mandates, he said.

CHIME CEO Russ BranzellRuss Branzell

In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CHIME and other groups -- including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and the Federation of American Hospitals -- asked Sebelius to hold 2014 ONC certified standards through 2015 instead of issuing new updates next year, as well as for flexibility in scoring meaningful use criteria attestations.

CHIME CIO interview series:

  • Pam McNutt, senior vice president and CIO at Methodist Health System in Dallas, supported an extension to stage 2 of meaningful use to help providers practice better medication reconciliation.
  • Marc Probst, vice president and CIO at Intermountain Healthcare, shares his reasons for wanting a national patient identifier and how going without it complicates data exchange.
  • Gretchen Tegethoff, vice president and CIO of Athens (Ga.) Regional Health System, discusses how her organization is handling swapping EHR systems between meaningful use stages 1 and 2, while also working to meet HIPAA omnibus and ICD-10 standards.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director, or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

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