Stakeholders feast on MU Stage 2

Like the Thanksgiving turkey, last week’s finalized rules for meaningful use Stage 2 are being pored over and picked at, and snap assessments are beginning to provide a glimpse at what policymakers deemed important.

Not surprisingly, as this article puts it in quoting ONC Director Farzad Mostashari, “Interoperability between different electronic health record systems is one of the most important requirements that hospitals and physicians must meet as they prepare their systems for attestation in meaningful use Stage 2.”

Over the past several months, interoperability has emerged as the key problem to be solved in order for EHRs to spread as desired, and ONC notes, "We continue to believe that making vendor-to-vendor standards-based exchange attainable for all meaningful EHR users is of paramount importance. In that regard, and as we look toward meaningful use Stage 3, we will monitor the ease with which EPs [eligible professionals], eligible hospitals, and CAHs [critical access hospitals] engage in electronic exchange, especially across different vendors' EHRs."

Meanwhile, in a nod to the rapidly changing mobile landscape, this article describes how the “Newly finalized rules for Stage 2...take into consideration some of the ways mobile technology has changed how healthcare professionals and patients access health information.”

Security and CPOE are among the topics viewed through the lens of mobile devices, but so, too, is the issue of how policymakers can monitor mobile developments without getting in the way. For example, the article points out that “ONC will not require separate certification for ‘adaptation’ of certified EHR technology into a new format such as a smartphone or tablet app as long as the spinoff contains the ‘full and exact same capabilities’ for each criterion as the original version.”

Needless to say, it’s going to take a little longer for stakeholders to digest the new regs than it does to dispatch the average Thanksgiving turkey. We hope you’ll let us know what parts of “the bird” you think ONC got right, and what parts should have been cooked a little longer.