SimulConsult and meaningful use

From CDS key to health reform in Healthcare IT News:

“The core functionality of an EHR comes across to doctors as mainly clerical, focusing on recordkeeping, communication and billing,” said Lynn Feldman, CEO of a [clinical decision support] platform called SimulConsult. “While these are all important, and everyone likes getting paid on a timely basis, physicians are likely to gauge the meaningful use of EHRs by the extent of the integrated clinical decision support available to help make diagnoses more directly and accurately, choose best therapies and avoid errors such as incorrect use of medications.”

“To doctors, the essence of ‘meaningful use’ of computers in medicine is assistance in care of their patient,” Feldman added.

As John Kenagy, MD,  fellow of the American College of Surgeons, sees it, the stimulus money in the HITECH act should be focused first on changes to the existing system, as interoperability between old technology and new is low.

“The current system struggles to give good decision support. Healthcare IT is not really providing meaningful decision support from the promises being made,” said Kenagy.

It is striking the degree to which there are two separate worlds out there – information resources and EHRs.  It is somewhat ironic that EHRs are being subsidized with large amounts of money in order to achieve “meaningful use,” which essentially means use of information resources.

July 20, 2009

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