Well-meaning Efforts

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , March 13, 2012
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Jeetu Nanda
MDMedical Director–Informatics, SSM Health Care, St. Louis

Have we met the meaningful use criteria? Yes. But we have met meaningful use criteria by the letter of the word, not in its essence. The idea behind meaningful use is that patient care and safety will be better and we—all healthcare providers—would be on the same page.

But there is a lot of pushback because when electronic health records were developed from the ground up, they probably did not involve end users as much as they should have. They don't follow the workflow that people were used to in the paper world. Now we are trying to tweak them by going around certain things and that makes them cumbersome. That is the stumbling block—going back and trying to fix something that wasn't built the way it should have been and that is making it more cumbersome on the front end for providers to use.

One of the pushbacks I'm hearing is that Yahoo! or Google refresh when we write an e-mail, but you can't do that with EHR. Physicians are not willing to keep refreshing and doing those little things because those are additional clicks. We are healthcare providers more interested in caring for the patient. This is deemed administrative work, which was done before by nonmedical people. Now we have to do it as physicians.

Reprint HLR0312-1

This article appears in the March 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.




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