Meaningful Use: A springboard for innovation

How healthcare organizations are going beyond a 'check-the-box' strategy to improve care delivery and drive patient engagement

Meaningful Use has given the healthcare industry more than a gentle nudge toward adopting electronic health records and other health information technology. And future stages of the program will challenge organizations to go even further. But some organizations are using Meaningful Use as a starting point--going beyond the individual requirements and collecting their incentive paychecks.

At last week's Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) summit in Ft. Lauderdale, panelists Doris Crain, vice president and CIO of Broward Health; Jeanette Schreiber, medical affairs and chief legal officer of UCF Collect of Medicine and the chair of the Central Florida RHIO; Garett Trumpower, RN, vice president of strategy and consulting at Medseek; and Shane Hade, CEO of Avhealio talked about how organizations are using Meaningful Use as a springboard for innovation.

Moderated by FierceHealthIT, panelists discussed innovative uses of health data, engaging patients in their own health data, trends in patient portals and mobile technology, using Meaningful Use incentives to fund new programs, and more. Some highlights from the discussion follow.

FHIT: How does Meaningful Use help--or hinder--innovation?

Crain: At Broward health we don't really think of Meaningful Use as Meaningful Use. We were doing Meaningful Use before there was such a thing. It was the right thing to do for patients, the community, for the physicians and really for the IT staff.

Innovation is about bringing value; it's not about inventing something new, necessarily, but it's about finding a new way to measure the value within the value. When we forced--and we did force--the nurses to begin doing documentation in the EMR over the course of time they really saw value in what we had done. 

Trumpower: One of the biggest hindrances is the checkbox strategy: You check the box and move on.

That is what about 50 percent of the organizations we work with are doing. It would behoove all of us to figure out how to go to the next level of innovation. Organizations are looking at disease management and using technology to move from a fee-for-service world into at-risk contracts.