Stage 2 Meaningful Use 'Ups the Ante'

As the coming year approaches, more vendors are working toward meeting Stage 2 meaningful use in electronic health record (EHR) products.

As the coming year approaches, more vendors are working toward meeting Stage 2 meaningful use in electronic health record (EHR) products.

“It has been a slow start. They’re working hard. They’re struggling a little bit,” said Alisa Ray, executive director and CEO of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, CCHIT. She adds that when comparing Stage 1 with Stage 2 certification, vendors are “navigating a higher bar and increased complexity.”

The 3 areas that have been most challenging in achieving Stage 2 certification are clinical quality measures, interoperability, and automated measure calculation for reporting metrics. Ms Ray reports that while more than 2000 products are being certified, only around 20% have been completely processed through the requirements. “It’s a testament to how much harder it is,” she said.

With the head seat of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology vacant, and with a worrisome timetable for vendors to meet Stage 2 requirements, some are considering the possibility of a delay in implementation.

“Stage 2 definitely ups the ante, and the 2014 requirements are pretty significant. I think a lot of vendors are trying to also develop things in parallel to keep up with different payment models, and ACOs, and different initiatives like ICD-10,”says Lauren Fifield, senior health policy advisor at Practice Fusion. “They’re trying to develop data analytics platforms and things like that. So I’m not terribly surprised. Come January or February, I think it’ll be more of a tell-tale sign.”

However, federal requirements to meet Stage 2 meaningful use in EHRs is an intelligent move for the healthcare industry—the more stringent benchmarks for providers and vendors will drive value and quality.

Around the Web

EHR MakersSurprised by Stage 2 Complexity [Government Health IT]

EHR Market in Flux as Stage 2 of Meaningful Use Approaches [EHR Intelligence]