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September 13, 2010

Hospital CIO's "Cautiously Optimistic" About Meeting EHR Meaningful Use


A recent EHR survey of 152 members of CHIME, the College of Health Information Management Executives, found that 90 percent of respondents expected to qualify for stimulus funding under HITECH by Sept., 2012, the end of Stage One. More than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) anticipated meeting the requirements early, in the first half of fiscal year 2011. Only 10 percent believed they would not qualify until fiscal years 2013 or 2014. However, many of those surveyed predicted significant obstacles to meeting meaningful use requirements.

The expectations of hospital executives varied depending on their organization’s type and size. Of the

CIOs from academic medical centers, 38 percent predicted they would qualify for stimulus funding within the first six months, compared to only 22 percent of CIOs from community hospitals. And while nearly all respondents from facilities with 600 to 999 beds expected to qualify within the first two years of the program, only two-thirds from hospitals with 100 to 199 beds predicted they would meet the criteria within that time frame.

Several obstacles to meeting meaningful use requirements were mentioned by respondents: certification of applications, and how that might impact an organization’s IT planning (25 percent); computerized provider order entry (CPOE) by provider organizations  (21 percent); and capturing and submitting data on quality measures (18 percent). Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said they had no concerns.

Surprisingly, 75 percent of respondents thought that relaxed standards for qualifying for stimulus funding would have little to no impact on improving providers’ chances. More than half reported they were accelerating their plans to implement electronic health records or otherwise re-evaluating current HIT applications to obtain funding.


Ms. Graham is a writer and editor with a current focus on health and wellness. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda

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