In this month’s post, we take a look at responses to one of the questions posed in the interview chapters of The Radiologist’s Guide to Meaningful Use: A step-by-step approach to the Stage 1 CMS EHR Incentive Programs.
What have you and your organization done to educate yourselves on the fundamentals of meaningful use?
Response: Dr. Keith J. Dreyer, Massachusetts General Hospital
Our CIO introduced me to meaningful use during a presentation in late 2009. I asked if there was a plan to include the radiology department and quickly learned that our team needed to educate ourselves on the ins and outs of the program. We reviewed the literature, examined the timetables, analyzed the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, and assessed the reporting requirements. We also used many of the resources on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website— fact sheets, summaries, and online video tutorials—to better understand meaningful use and build our strategy.
Response: Dr. Alberto Goldszal, University Radiology Group
First, let me say that it’s important to start educating yourself now if you haven’t done so already. To educate ourselves on meaningful use we used three primary sources. First, we looked at the basics and general requirements of the program. We attended conferences and lectures and read through various publications. We also relied heavily on word-of-mouth. A second source that we tapped for information was radiologyMU.org. We used this website to better understand the layers under the program as they relate to the medical imaging community—this was invaluable. Lastly, we learned a lot from our RIS vendor, who understood the incentive programs and engaged us early on in the process.
Response: Dr. David Mendelson, Mount Sinai Medical Center
As soon as the ARRA of 2009 and HITECH Act were announced, our organization immediately established a cross-functional committee at the clinical level and began analyzing all of the relevant federal documents that were available at the time. We reviewed those documents line-by-line and distilled that information into a summary document that outlined things we had to do and questions we needed answered—it essentially became a working document to guide us.
As soon as the timelines were announced, we began planning on both the inpatient and ambulatory sides. We conducted a financial analysis that included billing data for Medicare and Medicaid and identified whom on the clinical staff, and later radiology staff, would be eligible for incentive opportunities.
Specific to radiology, we are staying apprised of the program by using resources like radiologyMU.org and medical society websites, speaking with colleagues about their strategies, and closely monitoring changes and clarifications to the regulations.
We really are focused on understanding the financial implications, who is eligible, who is not eligible, what our vendors are doing, and how they will support our strategy. We’re also evaluating different approaches and looking at our RIS, our hospital EHR, as well as other certificated technology that we might be able to leverage to achieve meaningful use.
Response: Steven Fischer, Center for Diagnostic Imaging
The most valuable information came directly from CMS—including details about incentive payouts, eligibility determination, and general guidance and clarification. We also reviewed the regulations, certification processes and test scripts, and looked at trade magazines as well as a variety of online resources. We basically scoured all of the available content to find whatever information we could.
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