Meaningful Use & Radiology - Dive In, All Clear

During the SIIM 2011 Annual Meeting earlier this year, radiology leaders were rallying the industry to engage with the incentive program being driven under the Meaningful Use banner. Although there was uncertainty initially, the regulations clarified how radiologists could be eligible to participate in the HITECH Meaningful Use program. This topic was discussed in an earlier post entitled Radiology Needs to Reassert Their IT Leadership.

Almost six months later, much has remained unchanged, especially as it relates to the radiology industry’s engagement in Meaningful Use. RSNA 2011 is underway, and the concern is still being raised. In fact, RSNA and KLAS teamed up to conduct a survey of 216 radiologists on this topic:  Radiologists’ Take on Meaningful Use: a KLAS-RSNA Report.

Some key statistics from the survey:

  • Nearly 40 percent cited concerns about either the lack of clarity in Meaningful Use guidelines or decreased efficiency as a result of adopting current Meaningful Use guidelines.
  • 60 percent either plan to or are considering qualifying for Meaningful Use.
  • Only 6 percent considered themselves to be educated regarding Meaningful Use.

What this means for radiology groups and practices is very simple, as Emily Crane, KLAS research director, stated:

“These numbers should be a wakeup call for the radiology industry.”

Yes! It is time to wake-up to the changes underway and engage radiology practice leaders, radiology CIOs, and radiologists to ensure they are in sync with the direction of the U.S. heath care system. The Meaningful Use clock is ticking!

To a large extent, this is a leadership issue. A choice to participate or not can definitely be made. However, lacking clarity is not a reason to be stuck in neutral. Business, operational, and IT leaders are faced with uncertain situations all the time, yet they dive in, learn, plan, implement, and adjust.