49 flavors of meaningful use

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In their meaningful use survey released at the meeting, KLAS and the RSNA found that 60% of the 216 radiologists surveyed plan to either look into or attempt to demonstrate meaningful use of HIT. Only 6% said they understood what it takes. Most PACS vendors with RIS had already picked up this scent and said they were in the process of seeking certification. A few had already achieved it. In the absence of specialty-specific guidelines, vendors and providers will be challenged to make meaningful use meaningful.

FUJIFILM hopes to achieve modular certification of its Synapse RIS in January, with a longer-range plan for complete EHR certification this summer. “I think the outpatient market has decided that the most economic and efficient path to meaningful use is using the RIS platform versus adding a separate EHR,” says Jim Morgan, VP, medical informatics, Fujifilm. “Secondarily, customers are understanding that beyond meaningful use, you still need to have a very good RIS platform for efficiency, productivity, and ROI.”

Also in the process of achieving modular certification for its RIS, Sectra has an interesting wrinkle to its product: it will incorporate a CPOE module that will utilize the ACR appropriateness criteria, reports Mats Bjornemo, director of product marketing, Sectra. The product will also incorporate a patient portal and a middleware server that enables practices and departments to access patient information from throughout the enterprise with analytics capability to produce reports, including those needed to meet PQRI requirements.

DR Systems’ response to meaningful use is a product that leverages its cloud-based eMix technology, called e|HR. The company is developing a meaningful use dashboard plug-in for its portal for collecting MU data required to attest, says Doug Dill. “Instead of certifying our PACS or RIS, we are looking at it from the standpoint of practices that contract with multiple facilities and read off multiple PACS or RIS.” The company is going for complete EHR certificatio for the ambulatory setting for the product, which it hopes to make available at the end of Q1 or Q2.

One of the few radiology products that has been certified to date is RamSoft’s PowerServer 5.1. The company was quick to adapt its RIS to obtain full certification as a complete ambulatory EHR, and Vijay Ramanathan, CEO, reports that there is much confusion in the market about how to go about demonstrating meaningful use of HIT.

“Because the program was not designed for radiology, it really is a challenge to understand what it is and how to qualify for the incentives,” says Ramanathan. “The vast majority of people I spoke with are really just starting to get a handle on meaningful use. The biggest challenge with industry is that as a whole, this is something that is not intuitive at all. Most important is that radiologists speak to as many people as possible, because the clock is ticking.”

A new resource The Radiologist’s Guide to Meaningful Use, http://www.media.theMUguide.com, was released at the meeting. Written by Jonathan Dreyer and Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, an active voice on behalf of radiology-specific measures for MU with HHS, 100% of Dr. Dreyer’s proceeds will be donated to charitable causes promoting patient care and overall population health.