Hospitals Slowly Moving Toward Stage 1 of Meaningful Use

A new report from HIMSS Analytics concludes that the inevitable is happening, but slowly. According to researchers, who reported their findings in December 2011, virtually all categories of hospitals are showing greater ability to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1, including:

*  Academic medical centers

*  General med/surg hospitals

*  Hospitals with 400 to 499 licensed beds

*  Hospitals with 500+ licensed beds

*  Urban  hospitals

*  Multi-hospitals

*  Hospitals already at Stage 5, 6 and 7 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM)

According to HIMSS researchers, hospitals in the seven categories above are moving faster than their peers when it comes to IT adoption.  Hospitals at the high end of EMRAM are moving up more quickly, as well.  As hospitals geared up to meet Stage 1, researchers say, the number of hospitals at stages 6 and 7 of EMRAM is growing as well.

As we’ve previously noted here, however, calling this a success would be looking at the nearly empty glass as half-full.  Even HIMSS admits that only five percent of hospitals have achieved Stage 6 of the EMRAM model (give or take) and just 1.2 percent are at EMRAM Stage 7.

There is at least a little bit of good news.  Of the 585 hospitals surveyed by HIMSS,  about half are ready, most likely to be ready or somewhat likely to be ready to collect incentive payments this year.

The hospitals that reported being “somewhat likely” had achieved at least two menu items, and between five and nine of the core items needed to qualify for incentives.

But  hospitals with less than 100 beds — generally rural, critical access hospitals — are not doing even as well as their peers. Only 20 percent told HIMSS that they were ready or most likely to meet Stage One goals.

By the way, the HIMSS research included one discomfiting side note, on security. Of the 585 hospitals that weighed in, just 25 percent said that they protected EHR data by conducting and reviewing a security risk analysis, doing needed suricty updfates and correcting security deficiencies. Oops — there goes compliance witih 45 CFT 164.308 (a) (1), the relevant HIPAA security rule. But that’s a tale for a different blog item, isn’t it, folks?

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.


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