Seven Ways to Get Value From Your EMR

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media , July 14, 2009

6. Be deliberate. Think through all of the implications of what has to be done in order to have a smooth transition, says Robert Kiely, CEO at Middlesex Hospital. When hospitals rush to implement IT without proper preplanning, mistakes often are made and "they wind up losing not only the purchase price of the system," but development costs if they have to put a halt to the system and go back to square one, he says.

7. Define success. Organizations should know what they want to accomplish, be able to identify key performance metrics, and be clear on how they define success, says Short.

Currently, there is a lot of HIT activity happening this week. Today, the HIT Policy Committee's Certification/Adoption Workgroup is giving its recommendations for standards and certification criteria that will enable the electronic exchange and use of health information outlined in ARRA. Also, on Thursday, July 16, 2009, the Meaningful Use Workgroup will submit a new set of recommendations for defining meaningful use of electronic health records to the HIT Policy Committee. If you have an opinion on what it will take to use the technology in a "meaningful" way or would like to comment on the HIT Policy Committee's recommendations, please drop me a line at the below e-mail.

The committee's recommendations are nonbinding but they will provide guidance to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which will ultimately establish the definition for meaningful use.

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Carrie Vaughan is a senior editor with HealthLeaders magazine. She can be reached at

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