Today, ONC’s HIT Policy Committee will reconvene to hear the latest iteration of draft recommendations on “meaningful use.” For those of you that are new to all of this, “meaningful use” is the legislative language used in ARRA, to insure that the ~$36 billion to be spent on clinician adoption of EHRs will result in EHRs being used in a meaningful fashion.
About one month ago, the meaningful use workgroup of the HIT Policy Committee released their first draft of recommendations which received significant comments during that initial presentation from others on the HIT Policy Committee along with some 790+ written comments in the comment period that followed (here’s Chilmark Research’s own comments). The meaningful use workgroup chaired by Paul Tang and Farzad Mostashari (don’t be surprised to see Mostashari in senior position at ONC within next month or so) did an admirable job in this first draft but our final assessment of this draft, it was DOA.
Hopefully, the workgroup has taken a much closer look at what is actually doable within the time constraints of the HITECH Act, which are very tight and modifications have been made to insure that not only meaningful and substantial adoption occurs, but that adoption leads to better, high quality outcomes. If we focus on just the technology, as it appears HIMSS special vendor committee EHRA would have us do, we are likely not to see meaningful adoption and use. If, on the otherhand we set our sights on meaningful outcomes such as what the Markle Foundation suggests (disclosure, Chilmark Research did review and comment on earlier draft of Markle’s comments and is a signator to these comments) with clearly defined targets and let the innovators of healthcare create the means to get there without some prescriptive technology fix, we will see meaningful and sustainable adoption leading to measurable results that all citizens will benefit from.