'Late Adopters'—How Small Hospitals Can Navigate Meaningful Use

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , November 12, 2013

Tura Morice is CIO of ECRMC, a municipally owned hospital located less than 15 miles from the Mexican border in California. With 162 beds, two general outpatient centers, and two specialty outpatient clinics, ECRMC successfully attested for Stage 1/Year 1 of meaningful use on October 25 for the reporting period of June 4 to Sept. 3. As a Year 1 site, ECRMC's reporting period was 90 days.

"I tease my coworkers that there's real value in being a late adopter," Morice says. "Our physicians have been using CPOE in their practices and our hospitalists at other sites, so they were way ahead of the game compared to us, and were more than ready to adopt [our] CPOE pilot." A full rollout of inpatient CPOE is scheduled for next month.

CMS "outlined specifically what they're going to look for in an audit so that you can have all the screenshots and information ready," Morice says. "The early adopters didn't really have clear instructions on what an audit would look like, so I think unfortunate for them, now that they can't go back and redo their attestation screenshots a couple of years down the road.

"For us, we followed the formulary so if we ever get audited, we'll be ready."

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