Gladd is more than just a blogger; until last year, he worked for the Nevada/Utah REC. And he recounted this story not just to me, but to the assembled press at the very conclusion of HIMSS, where new ONC chief Karen DeSalvo MD had agreed to take questions.
How did DeSalvo respond? The answer to that later. But first, a little more data to ponder.
According to Ryan Sandefer, chair of Duluth, MN-based College of St. Scholastica's department of healthcare informatics, as of last summer, only three percent of rural and critical access hospitals who could have performed their second year of Stage 1 attestation had done so. Sandefer had collected this data nationwide as part of his work with REACH, the Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT, which serves Minnesota and North Dakota.
The same research found that only 20 percent of rural, non-critical access hospitals had only done 20 percent of second-year Stage 1 attestations.That's certainly better than 3 percent, but still nothing to celebrate.
Many of these hospitals are stuck in a queue waiting for vendors to upgrade to the 2014 certified version of their EHR software. Some of those providers are luckier than others, because their EHR software vendor does indeed have 2014 certified software to install, or even has the Stage 2-certified versions available to install.