Meaningful Use on the Red Carpet

February 26, 2012
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This week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) conference, the CMS and ONC rolled out the red carpet for the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (“The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for MU Stage 2”). Are you finding the timing of the Oscars and Stage 2 a coincidence? I certainly chuckled a bit.

This week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) conference, the CMS and ONC rolled out the red carpet for the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (“The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for MU Stage 2”). Are you finding the timing of the Oscars and Stage 2 a coincidence? I certainly chuckled a bit.

Well, here we are, the Stage 2 was rolled out yesterday, albeit in Las Vegas instead of Hollywood, and everyone is waiting for the “envelope” — the large providers are scrambling, the small medical practices are ignoring it, and the technology vendors are smiling.

The Big Studios

As many studio executives know, investing in talent and content in advance of actually creating a blockbuster can pay off. Similarly, the large HIT providers, who usually have teaching hospitals on their rosters, have passed Stage 1 on their homegrown EHRs to the point that they think it will only require fine-tuning for compliance with Stage 2. But they are not quite ready. They are looking for a star with a white coat to help them create a successful blockbuster by 2014.

The Independent Film

Small budgets, indeed! But as in the case of successful ones — like “Sideways” or “Winter’s Bone” or other great indie films — when you have the right people, you can deliver great results. We are counting on numerous small practices to leverage their creativity and innovate on ways to implement technology. They will need a kind of EHR, but regardless, they will make sure it is giving them the best possible outcomes for their patients. After all, they really know their audience better than anyone.

The Special Effects

The stars, the money, and the special effects. Now we are talking about a winning combination. Just like blockbusters produced with cool effects, the health technology vendors are developing new ways to produce the ultimate entertainment, or rather, health outcomes. It takes the stars in the hospitals, in partnership with the creative development of technology elements, to create a blockbuster success.

After the Awards Show

So while many will debate whether the Proposed Rulings of Stage 2 make sense or not, the technology vendors are experiencing the kind of market boom not seen in the health care sector in the past.

And here is where the movie business parallel stops — because regardless of whether your organization fits the profile of a big studio or an independent filmmaker, the US is finally poised for all providers to leverage the benefits of technology in health care. In fact, we have done a lot recently.

In his speech at the HIMSS conference, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator of health information technology, said, “We’ve made more progress on EHR adoption in the past two years than we made as a nation in the previous 20 years.”

So Washington, please pass the envelope soon! The technology vendors and health care organizations alike are waiting for your direction on the path to stardom.

For strategic counsel on how to engage your organization in the Meaningful Use process and communicate its participation to your key audiences  health care consumers or providers  please contact:  Mirena Bagur at mbagur@contexogroup.com.

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