09 Oct CMS’s Final Meaningful Use Rules Exert Important Pressure for Change
Meaningful Use Rules published by CMS may not suit the preferences of many provider stakeholders, but they are an important part of keeping everyone’s focus on accelerating interoperability and the use of electronic health records as a key element in patient engagement. Providers and private industry have made spotty headway in this regard, but it’s vital that every lever is used to move the market in this direction. Why? Data is king, and while only a few hold the keys to vast swaths of data, we are unable to unlock the profound opportunities that lie within. Imagine one electronic health record that is accessible by you and by any of your many providers (from your internist to your dentist). Imagine that your record allows you to add your preferences and goals in real time and allows you to incorporate wellness data (from FitBit to glucose levels) and information about your self-care. Imagine that your electronic health record not only facilitates the provider’s needs — appointments, paperwork, lab result — but also fosters communication with your provider when you need it and in a way that makes you part of your care planning. Yes, it’s complicated. Keeping the focus on improving care and on making everyone do it is the right role for CMS. Now the conversation needs to shift from emphasizing all the barriers, to how we will make it happen and who will lead.