Is Using Health IT “Desk Work”?

In a new blog post, Mark Segal, PhD, EHRA Chair Emeritus and Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs at GE Healthcare Digital, questions the frequent dismissal of EHRs and other digital health tools like as distracting “desk work” taking physicians away from the more valuable clinical practice of medicine.

A few excerpts:

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Improving Usability by Understanding EHR Users

 

Mandy at podium

By Mandy Long, Chair of the EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup, and Vice President of Corporate Operations at Modernizing Medicine

On June 21, 2017, I had the pleasure of co-hosting EHRA’s Shaping Usability of Health IT Summit in Washington, DC. We had an impressive turnout, with over 70 attendees from across the health technology spectrum – from ONC’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Technology Reform Dr. John Fleming and other government officials, to physicians and nurses, to user-centered design experts, to EHR developers.

The engaging conversations highlighted the passion of those in attendance and addressed some of the most challenging issues facing the industry today. Facilitated discussions with influential stakeholders in a cross-functional forum to achieve specific usability-related goals was a novel approach for this type of gathering and good first step to problem-solving.

Across the health IT continuum, we see executives and frontline clinicians experiencing real joys, as well as real frustrations, in using technology in their daily working lives. On an almost daily basis, we all engage to create solutions for the challenges that we face as an industry. You know the buzz words – terms like “physician burnout” and “administrative burden.” As technology leaders, we spend a lot of time speaking to our end-users about what it takes to continually improve and move forward.  Usability is at the forefront of our discussions.

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EHRA Reiterates Key Recommendations for Program Alignment and Practicality in Comments on HOPPS

As we generally do with proposed regulations that impact EHR developers and their customers, the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) carefully reviewed and collectively commented on CMS’s proposed rule on the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment Systems (HOPPS) and EHR Incentive Program on September 1. Our comments, submitted on September 1 and available here, are based on the collective experiences of more than 30 EHRA member companies who service the vast majority of hospitals and ambulatory care providers using EHRs across the United States.

We put forth two key positions. The first centers around advocating for program alignment across Medicare and Medicaid requirements, as well as the EHR incentive programs with the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The second states strongly that changes to the EHR incentive program at this late date relative to the current or next reporting period lead to costly and negative repercussions. We strongly recommend that CMS make every effort to incorporate the comments received up to and including this comment cycle in future rulemaking, in order to set appropriate and achievable requirements and deadlines to reduce the need for mid-year revisions.

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EHR Association Responds to CMS’ MACRA/MIPS Proposals

Recognizing the complexity of the MACRA legislation, the Association expressed appreciation that CMS considered a variety of comments from a diverse set of stakeholders in developing the proposed rule.  In their detailed comments, they emphasize that some of the complexities in the proposed rule will lead to many significant changes and implications for eligible clinicians.  EHRA urged CMS to take every possible step to dramatically simplify requirements in the final rule and to develop provider-focused communications to reduce complexity.

Briefing Congress on the Importance of Interoperability

On June 7, 2016, the EHR Association sponsored a briefing for Congressional staff engaged in crafting proposed legislation that addresses interoperability.  EHRA member company, Allscripts, invited their client Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Health Care (New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.A.), to participate as a panelist, along with four other healthcare provider organization executives. Their blog post shares some of his comments at the briefing, which covered successes and areas for improvement with health information technology.