Meaningful Use May Hinder EHR Interoperability
November 5, 2015 by Vickie Anenberg
Recently, Cross Country Staffing received notice that the General Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report, “Electronic Health Records: Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability.” Many healthcare IT specialists and organizations have begun commenting that the results of this report indicate that Meaningful Use is one of the primary barriers to EHR system interoperability.
The GAO report concluded that one of the key problems facing EHR interoperability is the industry still lacks a set of data standards necessary to be included in system functionality. This is a topic that has been cited in numerous studies, and by healthcare experts and government representatives for the past several years. Other primary challenges include:
- A lack of information concerning the costs associated with interoperability.
- Poor Master Patent Index (MPI) systems at many facilities that prevent matching patients to their correct medical records.
- Inconsistencies between the rules that individual states use to define privacy.
- Resistance by healthcare providers to share their patient health data.
A number of respondents to the report stated that to be effective, Meaningful Use must include specific ways to test interoperability for EHR systems to be certified. Currently, there are no such criteria. Previously, 42 healthcare professional organizations, and 116 members of Congress signed letters asking both the Office of Management and Budget and Department of Health and Human Services to delay the implementation of Meaningful Use Stage 3.
In spite of the issues surrounding Meaningful Use, healthcare facilities are moving forward with EHR upgrades or system replacements. Many of these projects are further delayed by a lack of available healthcare IT staff to successfully implement planned changes. This is where Cross Country Staffing can help.
We have developed a suite of workforce solutions that includes a program to cost-effectively provide qualified IT staff who can streamline even the most complex EHR project, and incorporate any Meaningful Use criteria, should Stage 3 not be delayed. Contact a Cross Country Staffing representative to learn more about this and all of our staffing solutions designed to meet your current and future healthcare staffing challenges.