NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON VITAL AND HEALTH STATISTICS
Hearing on "Meaninful Use" of Health Information Technology
April 28 - 29, 2009
This is really an important time for EMR vendors and users... starting to define "Meaningful Use" - there will be immediate implications for the HITECH bill, but even more resounding implications for the future of EMRs in so many ways. My fear is that they focus on adoption of certain technologies and workflows (e.g. "Physicians must personally use electronic prescribing"). My hope is they focus on realistic outcomes (e.g. risk adjusted ER visits, hospitalizations, and specialty visits; and/or standard metrics like preventive care guidelines, lab results, etc...).
I don't think we need to mandate physicians directly using EMRs, we need to reward effective use of systems that improve quality in whatever manner works. This will invariably mean use of IT, but it can be in many different ways. Keep the eye on the outcomes, not the means...