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HIT Trends Summary for August 2011

This is a summary of the HIT Trends report for August 2011.  You can get the current issue or subscribe here.

Incentives driving the EMR market. According to a report by Sage Healthcare, most physicians (65%) buying EMRs are doing so because of federal incentives.  The biggest obstacle is still cost with 32% of non-users saying it’s the number one issue.  This is creating a mainstream market, even in solo practices, which report over 30% EMR adoption rates in a new survey by SK&A.

Incentives may also be driving hospital implementation of computerized physician order entry (CPOE).  80% of hospitals still lack CPOE capabilities as of last year.  Meaningful use requires providers to order at least one medication for 30% of unique hospital patients.  In a new KLAS report, CPOE projects have more than doubled, being led by Cerner and Epic.

It is a likely unintended consequence that the incentives are speeding the dominance of market leaders.

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HIT Trends Summary for March 2011

This is a summary of the HIT Trends Report for March 2011.  You can get the current issue or subscribe here.

Government drivers. Federal communications dominated this month’s news.  ONC defended its core EHR strategy through a report published in Health Affairs analyzing the most recent studies to prove the benefits.  It found that 92% of studies reported positive or mixed but predominately positive results.  The study updates prior research by Chaudhry (2006) and Goldzweig (2009).

It also released its 5 year HIT strategy that is more of a comprehensive tactical plan of the work over the next years.  The plan seems generally aligned with most industry expectations.  (Adopt EMRs.  Exchange patient info.  Make it secure and private.  Get patients empowered.  Measure everything.)  ONC is asking for public feedback.  Early comments wish the plan contained more on fraud prevention and innovative solutions and architectures.

There’s also some pushback on its Stage Two and Three requirements.  A CCHIT industry survey indicates some potential overreach in areas such as agency reporting, formulary checking, medication reconciliation, patient info access and other areas.  Yet CMS put out its first rules on ACOs for comments, and the HIT requirements are ginormous.  Writing in the NEJM, CMS head, Don Berwick says, “Information management — making sure patients and all health care providers have the right information at the point of care — will be a core competency of ACOs.”Continue reading…