CHIMErs Talk Turkey at ONC Hearing

CHIMErs Tell ONC the Real Deal

Five CHIME members testified before an ONC committee on the challenges organizations face when trying to meet Meaningful Use requirements.

Joanne Sunquist, CIO at 440-bed Hennepin County Medical Center, a safety net teaching hospital in Minneapolis, said: “Creating the reports for eligible hospital MU objectives and quality measures has become an onerous, difficult and time-consuming process. This is in spite of the fact that we are working closely with our certified vendor who has provided certified reports. We are concerned that the difficulties organizations will face in producing the reports will result in significant delays in attestation, while not inherently adding value to the overall intent of MU.”

According to Chuck Christian, CIO, Good Samaritan Hospital, Vincennes, Ind., his organization is in good shape to meet MU because of an early start, but his concern was for those who didn’t get that jump, or were too small to afford the necessary resources.

“In smaller facilities, the IT departments are also much smaller and the spectrum of responsibility and effort ranges from management duties all the way to pulling and installing network cable,” he said. “In many critical access hospitals, they have to depend upon the talents and services of outside expertise, as they cannot afford to employ certain positions on a full-time basis. In my conversations with smaller facilities, there is a concern that they will not be able to retain the level of expertise that the identified efforts will require.”

Discussing HIE, Linda Reed, vice president and CIO, Atlantic Health, Morristown, N.J., noted that achieving MU around exchange is more than a technology issue for most healthcare organizations.

“HIE…includes appropriate use cases and the incorporation of acquired data into the physician EMR workflow,” Reed said. “In various discussions with physicians in my organization, it is clear that they want autonomy in choosing technologies, but also expect to be able to send and receive data at will. The trouble is that many of them do not know what is required for this or whether they have capable systems.”

Also testifying were Russ Branzell, vice president and CIO, Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, Colo. And Denni McColm, CIO, Citizens Memorial Hospital, Bolivar, Mo. (Click here for a Podcast interview with McColm about her testimony)

THE CHIMErs gave testimony to the Implementation Workgroup, a subgroup of the HIT Standards Committee.

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