As stakes grow higher, health IT pros struggle to comply with regulations

By Mark Terry

Healthcare leaders are so caught up in an overwhelming number of federal regulatory mandates that IT leaders "can't do anything else," Randy McCleese, CIO of St. Claire Regional Medical Center and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) board chairman, told InformationWeek.

That includes actually learning to fully use the health information technology their institution has purchased. "We've put all this technology in place quickly to meet the requirements," McCleese said, "but we have not had a chance to make sure it's working effectively."

The biggest challenge facing health information technology professionals is meeting regulatory requirements, including Meaningful Use goals, according to a survey of 322 technology professionals conducted in February and published by InformationWeek earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Meaningful Use Stage 2 is off to a slow start even as the stakes get higher, FierceEMR reported earlier this month. Hospitals must successfully attest or suffer lower Medicare reimbursement, as the payment adjustments for not meeting Meaningful Use goals kick in starting in 2015.

Last week, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka predicted that 80 percent of hospitals will fail to successfully attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2 within the allotted time.

In its survey, InformationWeek also asked respondents about their EHR vendors, plans to participate in health information exchanges and whether they'll implement technology--including computerized physician order entry, e-prescribing, online billing systems, clinical decision support and online patient portals--in the next two years.

To read more:
- read the article 
- here's the survey

Related Stories:
Special report: 4 ways hospitals are meeting Meaningful Use
CMS: 2014 MU Stage 2 attestation off to a slow start
Has Meaningful Use Lost its utility for physicians?
John Halamka: 80% of providers won't meet MU Stage 2 deadline
John Halamka: Looming HIT mandates 'too big in scope'
Meaningful Use Stage 2 changes may be inevitable

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