Apparently, many healthcare leaders are finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, a self-imposed “binary trap” when it comes to Healthcare IT.
It does not have to be that way. HIT is not “binary sudoku”. In other words, your strategy is never limited to only doing ‘this’ or ‘that’. If that is where your organization finds itself, choosing between to unacceptable choices, or trying to decide between the lesser of two evils, your way out is to try to redefine your options, to chunk the problem—break the problem down into more workable chunks.
One might be inclined to argue that it is important to figure out how the organization came to be mired in the issue. Since finding out how will not make the issue go away, let’s agree to put that on the shelf and focus our resources on how to get out of the trap.
One issue has placed many in the binary trap without their acquiescence or approval. That issue is the decision to meet Meaningful Use. For many, it was as much of a forgone decision as the decision to turn on the lights in their office. For most, it does not appear to have even made it to the level of a decision; it was simply assumed—someone had decided it for them.
Part of the problem, for those who are even asking the question of whether to meet MU, is the timing of the question. Those asking it often do so prior to performing the requisite homework.
In many organizations, the Meaningful Use decision can be mind-mapped like this:
- Meet Meaningful Use
That wasn’t too difficult; however, the course of action was handed to them. That same decision can be approached as follows, a binary trap:
- What are my options
- Should I meet MU?
- Should I meet MU?
To get out of the binary trap, expand your options.
- What is the cost of meeting MU
- What are the benefits of meeting MU
- What are the benefits of not meeting MU
- Is there an ROI
- Do not meet MU
- What do you do with your IT resources
- Meet MU
- By when
- Phased approach
- Which facilities
- What year
- What is our plan if we do not pass the MU audit
There are a lot of decision points which can help avoid the problem of sitting in the office and wondering how you every got to that point.