Is Meaningful Use Helping or Hurting EHR Adoption?

What follows is a fascinating graphic from NueMD, which asks a simple, yet provocative question: Is meaningful use helping or hurting EHR adoption?

CMS launched the program to “reward healthcare practitioners for adopting electronic health records and increasing efficiency within their practice.” According to the graphic, and the research complied here, 2013 was a successful year by all accounts as far as EHR adoption is concerned. However, as pointed out by NueMD, attestation of meaningful use is slowing.

Particularly alarming are the figures from the small practice space, with 50 percent or so of these physicians groups implementing the technology, yet only 25 percent or so of this group attesting and receiving incentives for doing so.

Additionally, satisfaction with using EHR technology also has dramatically decreased for those who might be called technology champions while those who might be labeled as EHR “haters” have begun to hate the technology even more.

Finally, of those deciding to make the technology switch to a new system cite lack of system functionality as the primary reason for doing so. So, of the physicians that are not implementing the systems, are they simply deciding to absorb the financial penalties mandated by the feds? If that’s the case, what will the outcome of meaningful use be?

And, if efficiencies are not gained, as promised, are we really any closer to an improved healthcare system where physicians, especially those in small practices, actually get to spend time with the patients they desire to serve?

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