All I want for Christmas is ARRA answers

It’s December and I am excited. Sure, I am excited for the holidays, but I may be more excited to see the official ARRA “meaningful use” guidelines.  The HIT Policy Committee’s draft is simply not detailed enough to use to develop a good IT strategy. There are so many vendor assertions being made that have multi-million dollar implications.  Here are my top questions I am wishing will be answered when the the first draft of the rule is published:

1. Is the hospital CPOE standard for inpatient orders, or all orders in the hospital? A number of sellers of Emergency Department vendors are asserting that hospitals will not be able to accomplish meaningful use without their software.  Implementing an Emergency Department system before October 2011 is a big deal.

The meaningful use matrix does state that the 2013 standard for meaningful use is “CPOE for all order tpye.” But it also states that the measure for CPOE is “%  of all orders entered by physicians  through CPOE [EP, IP].” Can I presume that IP means inpatient and that the measure applies to order entered on inpatients?

2. In writing the official rule, have those charged with setting the standards realized that the original standard is not acheivable by the vast majority of hospitals?  Given that it has taken the writers of the rule a year just to describe what they want done, it is probably going to take more than 21 months for us to do it?

3. If niche vendors are required to achieve meaningful use, like the ED system mentioned above, do they need to be CCHIT certified? Or, does the certification requirement only apply to the core HIS? If so, what is the definition of core HIS?

Please post a comment if you think these questions have been clearly answered, or, you have questions of your own to add.

Will Weider blogs regularly at Candid CIO.

Topics: EDIS