Study: Meaningful Use Could Change Order of Hospital EHR Adoption

May 30, 2014 in News

The meaningful use program could cause hospitals to change the order in which they adopt electronic health record functions, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceEMR reports.

For the first-of-its kind study, University of Michigan researchers analyzed the order in which 2,794 general acute care non-federal hospitals adopted various EHR functions.

Study Findings

According to FierceEMR, the study found that all hospitals tended to:

  • Adopt patient demographics and ancillary results first; and
  • Adopt physician notes, clinical reminders and guidelines last.

However, the researchers said that “many functions emphasized in Stage 1 meaningful use” — such as clinical guidelines and computerized provider order entry — “are typically adopted later in the sequence.” They added that the findings suggest “that meaningful use may change the planned prioritization of EHR function adoption” (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 5/27).

Implications

The study authors wrote, “These findings will help policymakers anticipate the impact of meaningful use, and how it may vary for different types of hospitals.”

They also recommended conducting future research to assess how changing the order of EHR implementation in response to the meaningful use program affects “patient care and the cost of EHR adoption in hospitals” (Milstein et al., Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 5/22).

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