MU attesters struggle with clinical summary measurement, security risk analysis

Providers in the Meaningful Use program have struggled most with the clinical summary measurement, the required security risk analysis, and patient smoking status reporting, according to a new study published in Medical Care, the Journal of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association.  

The study, the first nationwide assessment of the challenges, is based on data collected from 55 regional extension centers throughout 2012, reporting more than 19,000 issues from more than 43,000 providers. The researchers found that some of the top issues included provider engagement, vendor selection, administrative practices issues, delays in implementation/installation and practice workflow adoption.

Challenges meeting specific Stage 1 measurements accounted for 14 percent of the reports. The measure that appeared easiest for providers to meet focused on drug/drug and drug/allergy interactions.

The study's authors--including current Brookings Institution visiting fellow and former National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari--suggested that the data be used proactively.

"New challenges emerge as providers progress toward MU, creating opportunities to preempt large-scale issues with timely interventions," they wrote. "These interventions must take into account organizational and cultural dynamics, increasing the need to identify multiple, often setting-specific, solutions. If identified quickly and a timely response is provided, problems may be halted before becoming widespread or impeding progress."

The Meaningful Use program, which has paid out almost $18 billion in incentive payments, has been a struggle for many providers, causing uneven progress and dissatisfaction. Those providers obtaining help from the program's regional extension centers have had more success in attesting than those who have not sought such assistance.

To learn more:
- read the study