Pam McNutt Was Not Surprised (And Neither Should You Be)

June 25, 2013
At a press conference unveiling their most recent survey of CIOs, CHIME leaders and staff members spoke on Wednesday about how CIOs are faring these days, as the meaningful use process moves into a critical phase of development. Indeed, while 32.5 percent of the 200 CIOs responding to CHIME’s most recent survey believe they’ll qualify for stimulus funding by September 30 of this year, nearly 90 percent “still have concerns related to meeting meaningful use requirements,” the survey found.

At a press conference unveiling their most recent survey of CIOs, CHIME leaders and staff members spoke on Wednesday about how CIOs are faring these days, as the meaningful use process moves into a critical phase of development.

Indeed, while 32.5 percent of the 200 CIOs responding to CHIME’s most recent survey believe they’ll qualify for stimulus funding by September 30 of this year, nearly 90 percent “still have concerns related to meeting meaningful use requirements,” the survey found.

What’s more, the survey found that “Capturing and submitting data for quality measures has become the most frequently cited concern of CIOs responding to the survey.”

We at Healthcare Informatics have been reporting on and analyzing some of the issues around quality data reporting for MU for some time now, and have been doing our best to help alert CIOs and other healthcare IT leaders begin to prepare for what we—and others—see as some very complex challenges to overcome in order to do the kind of reporting that federal authorities are requiring under meaningful use.

But it was still good to hear Pam McNutt, senior vice president and CIO of Methodist Health System, Dallas, and the chair of CHIME’s Policy Steering Committee, say that she was not surprised by the fact that survey respondents cited quality measure capture and submission as their biggest single concern. As she put it, “Many of us have been capturing and reporting that data; but frankly, a lot of the data capture has been through abstraction; but now this has to be generated from your electronic record system.” Yet the very fact that physician documentation is not an explicit requirement in Stage 1 (it’s put off until Stage 2) is causing healthcare organizations to put off implementing one of the key systems needed to satisfy Stage 1 data reporting requirements. The complexity of all of this is enough to make one’s head spin.

Fortunately, we’ll be hosting a high-level discussion on “Quality Data Reporting for Meaningful Use: Strategic and Implementational Issues for CIOs and CMIOs” at the Healthcare Informatics Executive Summit, which will be held in San Francisco May 11-13. Industry experts including David Liebovitz, M.D. of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Tina Buop of Muir Medical Group IPA, Sajjad Yacoob, M.D., of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Jane Metzger, principal researcher in Emerging Practices at CSC, will discuss the ins and outs of this truly challenging area within MU.

I know it will be a fascinating discussion, and I look forward to seeing many of our CIO readers there. They will also have the opportunity to question Farzad Mostashari, M.D., directly, when he delivers the opening keynote presentation at the Summit. I already have a question in mind to ask Dr. Mostashari, and I’m sure attendees will bring many questions with them as well.

In the meantime, surveys like CHIME’s are giving us lots of data that are helping healthcare IT leaders figure out where their peers are on this industry-wide mega-journey. It will be interesting to see what CHIME’s next MU-related survey reveals.

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