Study Shows Divide Over How Meaningful Use Meets Pediatric Needs

March 11, 2015 in News

Children’s hospitals appear split on whether meaningful use requirements address their specific pediatric care needs, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, EHR Intelligence reports.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Study Details

For the study, researchers surveyed 164 general acute care children’s hospitals between September 2011 and May 2012. The survey yielded responses from 61% of facilities.

Findings

Overall, the survey found that EHR adoption rates across all surveyed children’s hospitals fluctuated between 37% and 87%. Further, nearly 60% of respondents said they had not implemented an EHR system with comprehensive capabilities.

Meanwhile, 57% of hospitals said their EHR systems did not have the necessary functions for pediatric care, while more than 33% said that commercial EHR technology also did not have the necessary functionalities for such care.

In addition, the survey found that hospitals were split about how meaningful use requirements served to address pediatric care needs. For example, 54% of respondents said the program criteria met the needs of children’s hospitals, while 46% of respondents said they did not (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 3/10).

The study concluded that “a sizable proportion [of children's hospitals] still finds their systems suboptimal for pediatric care,” adding, “The meaningful use incentive program is failing to promote and in some cases [is] delaying uptake of pediatric-oriented features” (Nakamura et al., JAMIA, 3/9).

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