Vendor neutral HITECH resources
As we enter the world of the achievement and documentation of Meaningful Use the need for clarity is paramount. I have already seen too much confusion and mis-information. The stakes are too high and the risk is too great to base decisions on dubious information. The EHR Incentive Program is a one shot opportunity to significantly promote HIT adoption. We know this opportunity will not come again. Where should Eligible Professionals and Hospitals turn for trusted sources for guidance and clarification?
CMS has launched a site that covers many of the details of the EHR Incentive Program. HHS/ONC has created a network of Regional Extension Centers. The RECs are tasked to “support and serve health care providers to help them quickly become adept and meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs). RECs are designed to make sure that primary care clinicians get the help they need to use EHRs.” But what if you are a hospital, specialist, or a large practice that is outside the scope of the REC mission? Some of the EHR vendors I have worked with on Certification Projects are stepping up to provide education to their users. Many of the medical associations are also becoming active in this regard. There is no limit to the number of consultants that have entered the fray.
I would like to suggest another option for Meaningful Use education. For sometime I have seen the need for a “MU portal”. This would be an online community where providers and hospitals could interact, attend webinars, submit questions to experts, locate tools, and make sense of the EHR incentive program in a vendor neutral environment. I am glad to say that such a resource is becoming a reality..
This HITECHAnswers site has offered subscription based premium content in this area since the ARRA legislation was enacted. I have challenged them to offer all of their premium content to Hospitals and EPs without charge. They have accepted and through 12/31/2010 they have agreed to provide ongoing access without additional or future costs. Vendors, consultants, and other stakeholders still pay for access but not Hospitals or EPs. I have been asked to be one of the subject matter experts at the MU portal and will also make available some of my own services through the site.
Here are the links EPs and Hospitals can use to qualify for this free subscription:
About Jim Tate
Jim Tate is founder of EMRAdvocate and nationally recognized expert on the ARRA/HITECH incentive programs. They are dedicated to assisting hospitals and eligible providers as they plan for HIT adoption, achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use and receiving the upcoming Medicare and Medicaid incentives. He is also author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1, Manual for Medical Practices.