Report: Hospitals Not Meeting Electronic Medical Record Stimulus Requirements


A new report from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) has found that hospitals will face significant challenges in order to comply with health IT requirements of the federal economic stimulus package.

HIMSS compared the requirements of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) stimulus against its 7-stage Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Model (see image below).

The majority of HITECH requirements fall under the most difficult Electronic Medical Record categories – categories that very few hospitals currently meet, a recent article from Government Health IT points out:

Stage 1: EMRAM functionality is required as part of the 2001 HITECH measurements, including installation of lab, pharmacy and Radiology Information Systems (RIS). 90% of hospitals already meet this criteria.

Stage 2: The ability to store labs results in a structured format such as Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) is required – another part of 2011 HITECH measurements. Many hospitals currently do not have this capability.

Stage 3: Currently, less than 25% of hospitals have implemented the clinical decision support systems that will be needed to meet the Stage 3 functionality requirements of HITECH.

Stage 4: As part of 2013 HITECH measurements, orders must be tracked through a Computer Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system. Less than 50% of US hospitals currently have this technology, and less than 5% of hospitals require doctors to use the CPOE.

The report points out that while measurements for 2015 are not yet well defined, it’s likely that hospitals will need to implement Stage 6 applications in order to meet them. That may include:

  • Significantly increasing physician adoption of CPOE systems
  • Implementing clinical data warehouses
  • Providing electronic medical records portals for patients
  • Employing complete Electronic Medical Records

That’s a level that only 0.06% of US hospitals currently meet.

Tell us, how is your hospital working to meet the meaningful use requirements of the HITECH Act?

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