The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the nation’s leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, announced the release of its findings from its February 2015 ICD-10 Industry Readiness Survey. In its March 31 letter to the HHS Secretary, WEDI reported concern with the current level of industry preparedness noting that many organizations did not take full advantage of the additional time afforded by the one-year delay.
“Unless all industry segments take the initiative to make a dedicated effort and move forward with their implementation work, there will be significant disruption on Oct. 1, 2015,” said Devin Jopp, Ed.D, president and CEO of WEDI.
Highlights from the latest survey findings include:
Compliance date uncertainty: Uncertainty around further delays was listed as a primary obstacle to implementation, appearing on more than 50 percent of all responses for vendors, health plans and providers.
Health plan testing: More than 50 percent of health plans have begun external testing, and of these, a few have completed testing. This is a slight improvement from the prior survey.
Vendor product availability: About 60 percent indicated their vendor products were available or they had started customer testing. This is a slight decrease from about two-thirds in the August 2014 survey. However, the number that responded ‘unknown’ decreased from one eighth to just a handful.
Provider testing: Only 25 percent of provider respondents had begun external testing and only a few others had completed this step. This is actually a decrease from the about 35 percent of provider respondents that had begun external testing in the August 2014 survey.
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, released the findings from its recent survey on industry awareness and adoption regarding the usage of the “Blue Button” implementation guide for exporting patient healthcare records.
WEDI conducted its first survey on Blue Button in 2013, and as a follow up on the progress of industry adoption since that time, WEDI re-evaluated the industry in 2014. WEDI conducted the survey from Oct. 31, 2014 to Dec. 8, 2014, which included 274 respondents across multiple stakeholders, including providers, health plans, vendors and clearinghouses.
The full survey results can be viewed online and summarized through WEDI’s March 13 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Some key observations WEDI notes from the 2014 survey in comparison to the 2013 findings include:
Relying on integrated electronic health record and medical device data to populate personal health records (PHRs) increased. While provider respondents remained relatively consistent in their use of integrated EHRs, a significant increase occurred for government respondents from 60 percent in 2013 to 100 percent in 2014.
Ensuring awareness of Blue Button as an industry-wide tool remains an opportunity.
Offering the PHR to all patients when implementing a PHR continues to be significant. There is a high percentage (80 percent in 2014) of respondents that are offering the PHR to all patients/members as opposed to only making it available to select subsets of their patients/members.
Enabling the patient/member to retain control over who has access to their PHR data through privacy controls continues to be important.
Transmitting data to patients, providers or authorized third parties appears to occur through DIRECT. Health plan and provider respondents both showed an increase in use of DIRECT for transmitting data, while government and technology developer respondents showed a decrease in use of DIRECT.
Providing patients with a better overall experience continues to show traditional communication methods as top priorities.