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Meaningful Use Today


MDI should be on the short list for implementation


Medical device integration is a strategic asset for meaningful use and more. By Stuart Long


I


t is widely understood that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will accelerate the de- velopment and adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). And, under the HITECH portion of ARRA, allocations of up to $48 billion in incentives have been made through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid programs (CMS) “to assist providers in adopting EHRs.” For hospitals and health systems, this positions them to signifi cantly benefi t from the federal injection of capital to support their health information technology (HIT) infrastructure and initiatives. The road to receiving stimulus reimbursement is not straight and narrow, however, and hospitals need to be strategic when planning their approach. The HIT Policy Committee has provided guidance on


the fi ve healthcare outcome priorities of meaningful use, which are to:


• Improve quality, safety, effi ciency and reduce health disparities;


• Engage patients and families; • Improve care coordination;


• Improve population and public health; and • Ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information.


While medical device integration is not specifi cally identi-


fi ed as a priority, it is one technology that can actually help hospitals achieve meaningful use in all three of the current phases. Specifi c phases include: • Recording vital signs and charting changes; • Using CPOE; • Recording clinical documentation; and • Medical device interoperability.


Recording vital signs and charting changes: 2011 Recording vital signs and charting changes (such as height,


8 April 2012


Recording clinical documentation in the EHR: 2014 Recording clinical documentation in the EHR is a stated 2014 objective. While the fi nal measure has yet to be defi ned in detail, it is expected that this objective goes beyond vital signs. So, again, technically this could be satisfi ed through manual recording, yet manual documentation is not only a waste of nursing time, it also leads to transcription errors and decreases the overall patient care experience. Automating the clinical documentation process through device integration will help hospitals meet this objective.


HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY www.healthmgttech.com


weight, blood pressure and body mass index) is a stated 2011 objective. While this can technically be accomplished by a clinician manually writing the values down and enter- ing them into the EMR, manual documentation wastes valuable clinical time, is prone to errors and leads to large delays in those vitals making it into the record. Medical device integration automates this process by sending the data directly from the device to the information system, allowing hospitals to quickly and easily demonstrate that this objective is satisfi ed because those vitals can be easily tracked, logged and automated.


Using CPOE: 2011


Using CPOE (computerized provider order entry) is a stated 2011 objective. The actual use and adoption of CPOE does, however, have some challenges. One of those has to do with the vital signs data. When documentation isn’t au- tomated, it means that physicians don’t always have access to the most recent data. To write a valid and accurate order they not only need all the data available, they also need it accurate and current. Medical device integration supports this because it enables the automatic transmission of vitals, directly from the device, in near real time.


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