DeSalvo looking at MU flexibility

February 25, 2014 in Medical Technology

People have concerns about meeting government regulation requirements, particularly in light of deadlines that sometimes conflict, such as those for Stage 2 meaningful use and ICD-10 conversion. Karen DeSalvo, MD, understands that and is listening. 

The new ONC coordinator spoke to reporters at HIMSS14 on Tuesday to give conference attendees a glimpse of what’s on her mind and of her joint keynote with CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

She acknowledged to Bloomberg News that the ONC had received many letters from organizations expressing their concerns over meeting government regulation requirements. She and her team are looking for ways to be flexible.

To keep them engaged in their efforts towards meeting Stage 2, DeSalvo said she has some goals. One is that every provider is using an electronic health record and technology to capture, share and use health information.

“That requires that there’s some floor that we set, that is raised, whether you’re a rural, small hospital, provider, payer, whatever you are,” she said. Another policy goal is using meaningful use as a driver to advance the market.

“It’s one thing to have an EHR,” she said. “We need to meaningfully use it, and push technology so that it is driving interoperability across the continuum and that it is improving outcomes.”

On the subject of interoperability, DeSalvo is excited, she told the reporters. 

“The reason I get excited about interoperability is because for it to work, for the doctor to show up in the ER and to know what medicine you’re allergic to, if you’re unconscious and need some help, there’s a lot of back work to see that everything comes together just at the right moment to save your life. That’s pretty exciting to me.”

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