|The Health Record Review
by Patty Enrado
Posted on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 - 01:26 am
A mid-November survey of 191 members of the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIMES) reveals that hospital CIOs are less confident they will meet Stage 1 meaningful use criteria and therefore not qualify early for EHR federal stimulus funds.
Only 15 percent of respondents, compared to 28 percent of respondents in CHIME's August survey, believe they expect to qualify in the first six months of fiscal year 2011, which began in October of this year.
The percent of those who don't expect to qualify early - approximately 10 percent - remained the same from the August to the November survey. These CIOs expect to qualify in either 2013 or 2014.
While this snapshot is problematic, what is even more troublesome is the drop in the confidence level of community hospital CIOs. Whereas the August survey saw 23 percent expecting to qualify for funding in the first six months of the program, the November survey identified only 5 percent expecting early qualification.
Not surprisingly, 42 percent of community hospital CIOs anticipate speeding up their plans to implement EHRs, which is almost double the percent of respondents in the August survey. Going the opposite direction is the percent of respondents who feel their organizations will be able to qualify for funding - from 48 percent in August to 32 percent.
Eighty-two percent of the November respondents still have concerns about the meaningful use criteria and stimulus funding qualification, but the type of concerns has changed from the summer, according to the survey.
Concerns about EHR system certification has taken a backseat to other issues, likely because the certification process has been put into place quickly by the certification bodies that were given the green light by the feds.
Finally, the survey revealed that computerized provider order entry (CPOE) implementation was identified by 29 percent of respondents as a major concern, followed by 22 percent for capturing or submitting quality measures and 13 percent for vendor readiness.
With respect to CPOE, 62 percent of respondents anticipate some difficulties with CPOE implementation, and 52 percent said getting clinicians to use the system would be problematic.
The value of these regular surveys, spaced within a few months of one another, is to get a snapshot of the very fluid environment of EHR implementation. If the industry wants EHR adoption to happen, we need to keep an eye on how healthcare providers are progressing with their plans and how they are feeling about their ability to meet the milestones.
If there are bumps in the road, new concerns replacing issues that have been addressed either by the federal government or other entities, or other problems, the industry at large needs to know so stakeholders can act quickly to keep momentum going for critical mass of EHR adoption.
With regard to the CPOE concerns, David Muntz, FCHIME, CHCIO, senior vice president and CIO at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, said that benefits of CPOE must be presented to engage physicians.
This is not a difficult thing to do, but it is an imperative thing to do across the provider market if the CHIME survey numbers are to move in a positive direction, instead of sliding backwards.
Many entities should be taking the temperature of healthcare providers and EHR champions need to step up to address those bumps in the road.
Photo by dherrera_96 courtesy of Creative Commons license.