Stimulus won't cause major strategic changes for MI hospital

If you've already installed an EMR, or are well on your way, there's probably no need to panic about the "meaningful use" requirements of the federal EMR incentive program that starts in 2011. Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, a 290-bed facility in Rochester, MI, started its EMR journey in 2001, and added CPOE in 2007. Today, nearly half of all orders go in electronically, well above the proposed 10 percent requirement for hospitals to earn subsidies for 2011. The hospital will have to reach 100 percent CPOE by 2013, but Chief Medical Officer Dr. Frank D. Sottile believes that Crittenton is on target; in fact, the hospital has not changed its EMR strategy since the stimulus bill passed in February.

"We'll do a gap analysis--if our current strategic plan doesn't have it, then we'll figure out how to do it. My position to my partners and board members is we'll achieve 100 percent of meaningful use and we won't leave anything on the table," Sottile says in an interview with HealthLeaders Media. While Crittenton may have to add some software to meet the proposed requirements for 2013 and 2015, the greatest adjustments will be cultural in terms of maintaining patient problem lists. "[W]ho has the right to add or delete problems? That is the issue we need to work through. Can a dietitian define you as obese or nutritionally malnourished or does it require a doctor?" Sottile wonders.

He also has concerns about reporting requirements that likely will be part of meaningful use.

For further details:
- read the HealthLeaders Media Q&A