HIMSS Reminiscing: What was “Meaningful”
We went into this year’s HIMSS conference with some expectations. Many of them we’re related to the implementation of MU and CPOE systems, though we did know that with the pending announcement of Meaningful Use Stage 2 there was certain to be a lot of conversations centered there, as well.
The conference didn’t disappoint in terms of breadth and depth of discussion in those areas, nor did it hold back in exploring the challenges facing hospitals as these new rules, regulations, and technologies continue to roll in. It’s clear that as an industry there is a lot of opportunity, but there is equally as much anxiety and uncertainly about what to prioritize, even who to prioritize.
What we observed was promising, but it was also troublesome. On the one hand, you have tremendous collaboration and sharing—hospital networks like Tenet relaying their experiences with attestation and helping others prepare for their own migrations. Liz Johnson spoke extensively about her teams’ MU migration and offered invaluable insight to others. In partnership with Cerner, Tenet is leading the way; they are focused, efficient, and committed to striking a balance between technology, quality of patient care, and usability for doctors and clinicians.
But with these huge leaps in process and efficiency through technology, the industry is becoming more and more technically integrated, but physically siloed. Patients are being referred to as “consumers” and doctors are “users.” Meaningful Use, advancements in EHR, implementation of CPOE and mobile technologies are all taking place in parallel and few industry learns are being shared and applied across initiatives. Control over these moving parts is ultimately what keeps patients safe and doctors confident, so what can be done to ensure that all the moving parts are working together properly and working for patients and doctors?
We believe the answer lies in the collaboration between hospitals, systems providers, doctors, patients, and… us. Hospitals identify where the doctors and clinicians needs and wants overlap those of the patients. The systems should deliver, and do so in a way that simplifies the complexity and organizes the chaos. From there, we want to ensure that all of these variables are capable of producing the right answer. Testing is a moment in time. Validation ensures on going confidence in the systems. It gives control to the organization, confidence to the patients and doctors and ensures that everyone is accountable to what matters most: people.
It’s not an impossible dream, but it will involve a level of commitment to working together that is not common today. We all feel the increased pressure and scrutiny that innovation has brought on. Individually it represents obstacles, but if we work together it can represent huge opportunities for everyone involved.