Climbing the Meaningful Use Mountain

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , May 8, 2012

In technology, healthcare leaders often pride themselves on being first. That isn't going to change, no matter what Meaningful Use rules CMS devises, or how they change after the end of this comment period.

My own opinion is we should let the smartest, most clever, and most well-provisioned Meaningful Users get to the top at their own pace. They should not let anything the rest of the climbers are doing slow them down. Compelling success stories, as you well read in these pages, will inspire those coming behind them.

If that means letting some of the better-prepared providers jump their place in line, so be it.

But we should also give a helping hand to those climbers who are struggling. They may not have the best equipment. They may have great challenges in other areas of their enterprises. It should be possible for the leading practitioners of Meaningful Use to pass along their expertise, just as veteran mountain climbers do.

So in general, let's sweeten the incentives to achieve Meaningful Use in all its stages, and lessen or postpone the disincentives. And let's also apply our knowledge as an industry as widely as possible. The worst mountain climbing disasters usually occur because of ignorance of conditions.

Let's find ever more ways to network to each other to see that all get to the goal and back safely. As mountain climber Ed Viesturs likes to say about climbing, getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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