What Meaningful Outcomes Will Come from Meaningful Use?

I recently came across this video (embedded below) of Farzad Mostashari doing an Ignite talk about meaningful use and the EHR incentive money. If you’ve never been to an Ignite event they can be really cool (see some of the videos here). I love the format of them: “At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.” Would be cool to do an Ignite at HIMSS or something. but I digress.

In Farzad’s Ignite presentation he says that meaningful use and the HITECH act will lead to improved outcomes, higher quality care, safer healthcare, patient centered care, and coordinated care. When you hear him talk, he’s quite confident that all of these are going to happen and I really think he’s genuine in this being the goal.

Before I bias you too much on my views, I’d love to hear your thoughts on if the HITECH act and meaningful use will achieve the valuable goals of: improved outcomes, higher quality care, safer healthcare, patient centered care, and coordinated care

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.


  • John-

    I have co-authored an article that is currently submitted to a major periodical that addresses this question. I obviously can’t repeat it all here but the bottom line is that Mostashari leads an army of starry-eyed dreamers in HIT who can’t face 2 clear facts: 1. The benefits of health IT are NOT proven and should not be simply accepted as unchallenged fact, and; 2. There is no business model that establishes the profitability (or even revenue-neutrality) of EMR.

    HIT should be treated like any other health care technology. Safety and efficacy should be thoroughly studied before it is put into widespread use.

  • Hi Mike,
    I’m sure you’ll post about your article once it’s published?

    I think EHR should be treated like other technology. You didn’t need stimulus money to get doctors to use computers.

    I read where a doctor wrote today that MU does little if anything to benefit the doctor and their relationship with the patient. Hard to argue with that.

    I’m afraid it’s mostly water under a bridge now though. I still think that EHR is the future, but the incentive money has turned those selecting EHR into irrational people. It’s insane.

  • MU has had teh effect of killing innovation. Asking 300 IT companies to all do the same 25 things is about the dumbest idea I have ever heard. My favorite is the visit summary that does not need to contain a summary of the visit.

    Money being thrown away to lock doctors into technology that does not increase quality or decrease cost, and MU being used to be sure all EHRs met the bare minimum least useful standard…what a concept.

    Government at its best. For those who have forgotten the Soviet Union, the bottom line is that central planning does not work, especially in a fast moving field like IT.

  • It would seem there may be enough IT folks and docs who feel like we do to try and make something happen.

    Jonena Reith and I were discussing this last week. An excerpt of her last e-mail follows:

    “Are you familiar with an “un-conference”? It can be held online or at a
    brick and mortar location. You market the heck out of it.

    You invite the people you want to attend to a one or two-day session.
    You can invite the public also if you want. We (you and I) facilitate
    dialog on the topics of interest – specifically ideas for ways to get
    docs, IT folks and healthcare technology vendors collaborating before
    and during. We use that learning to market the ideas to IT, medical
    professionals and vendors. ”

    Is it time to take this to the next level?


  • MK,
    If you want to do an un-conference in person, I’d be happy to find a place in Las Vegas (probably free) for it. I love fostering important discussions.

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