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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Make those boxes disappear

There are two ways to look at the meaningful use requirements. The first is as a set of features to check off  in order to attain certification.  The second is as a set of features that, thoughtfully designed and developed, support greater access to information, better care, and lower costs.

The model you use can be detected by the kinds of questions you ask.  If you focus on the requirements of meaningful use, and what it takes to pass the test, you aren't looking at it right.  Don't ask what you need to do to pass the test, but rather, how the feature needs to be implemented to make your customers happier.  Once you have that answer, THEN you can ask what needs to be done to ensure that it meets the certification requirements.

Your customers aren't going to be happy with products that use the certification criteria as a checklist.  They are going to be happy with products that have carefully considered how those features fit into their workflow.

Anyone can check the box, what you need to figure out is how to neatly fit that box into your product along with all the other boxes, and do it in such a way that the boxes disappear from view.


  1. Keith, YES! So true, how did we get from those sensible meaningful use criteria to the check-boxes that everyone hates and are anything but meaningful?

  2. Good way to visualize the problem, Keith. Compliancy is important, but when the method of compliance does not result in a more efficient business with better patient care than the likelihood of sustainability decreases significantly. I would guess that most healthcare entities do not have the time or resources to adequately understand the workflow impact of these changes enough to make strong evaluations. I also do not think most software vendors have the resources to maximize the outcomes while minimizing the operational overhead in each unique organization. It's a costly mix of talent and resource limitations inside a fairly complex problem.

    1. Great points Mark. The biggest challenge with resources is the time available. It takes time to do good work. I know of few organizations that would embark upon major EHR projects within the timelines established by Meaningful Use by choice.

    2. Totally agree. On top of 5010 & ICD10 no less. But, this is the business the vendors provide value. None of these were out of the blue regulatory changes, yet few took the time to prepare until it was finalized. It's not easy, but as an industry we have to do better. IMHO