Health IT Advisory Group Says Meaningful Use Bar Too High

George Hripcsak, MD, the co-chair of the workgroup and a biomedical informatics professor at Columbia University, said the following during a Health IT advisory group meeting as reported by Healthcare IT News:

None would be dropped in the area of privacy and security. “You can do things that are easy to measure, and you want to make sure it’s done for some but not measures that force more manual labor,” Hripcsak said.

I think this is a very very good point. The idea that “meaningful use” will end up being satisfied thanks to more manual labor is sad to consider, but a very possible outcome. I’ve already heard people talking about how they’re going to satisfy the meaningful use requirements and many of the reporting components require a lot of manual footwork.

One thing is certain from my point of view. The meaningful use bar as it is now will be a major hindrance to doctors interested in finally implementing an EMR for stimulus money. I’m not sure if they’ll find this out before implementing or after they’ve implemented. Either way, it will not achieve the desired outcomes.

If you are interested, you can listen to the HIT Policy Committee meeting tomorrow, at 10 AM Eastern. Find all the details of the webcast here.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I respectfully disagree “Meaninful use” bar is set too High.

    1. Every major vendor has the functions built in to satisfy meaninful use criteria. However majority of those funtions are built to get CCHIT certified and to show they have complied with Meaningful use . Its not built keeping in mind physicians and hospitals workflows, consumers access to their health record when they see their doctor, how can patient safety be increased in reality, and how can we really lower cost..

    2. User interface is a big issue…..Clear clinical picture for providers is whats lacking. Applications are not interagated for healthcare providers according to their workflow to do their job even though functionalities are available in many cases

    3. We need to focus on how we can develop a policy were vendors are forced to develop an application or applications according to the day to day workflow of patients and their doctors not just to satisfy govt requirement to qualify for incentive..and get CCHIT certified

    Chinese govnt is spending over 124 billion as a part of their healthcare reform bill between 2009-2011 with key focus on EMR ( 3 billion) and theirr requirements are set higher than our meaningful use. If they can do it … I certainly hope we can do it.

  • rp001,
    I’m a little confused on if you think that the meaningful use bar should be higher or lower. Seems like you think that many of the EMR vendors aren’t meeting the needs and expectations (which I agree with). We need better EMR software. I personally think that as you say Meaningful Use just drives them to create features to meet the MU criteria instead of improving patient care or other noble and worthwhile goals.

    China is a bit of an unfair comparison since from what I understand they only have one “insurance company” to deal with. Although, we can certainly learn a lot from EMR implementations being done in other countries.

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