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Over the Hill Thinking...

October 12, 2010
by rjarvis
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Is there life after meaningful use?

As the seasons here in the Southeastern United States have turned, I've noticed a similar turn in many of the conversations I've had recently with speakers on our webinar programs and sponsors looking to do future programs with us. While meaningful use remains a hot topic the conversation has slowly turned, like the leaves outside, to the "What next?" question. Once meaningful use is achieved, what happens next?

Fortunately, what Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland describes as pioneer organizations have already begun to answer that question. These organizations are moving forward quickly to master the next phases of IT adoption in the clinical setting. It more than just getting the software and systems in place. It's about how to leverage those tools to improve the quality of care, monitor the effectiveness of the organization and begin to make sure that the best care is delivered at the lowest possible cost.

One program that stands out recently features Mark in conjunction with Dodge Communications. That Sept. 30 event looked specifically at how clinical informaticists are driving more of the conversation. CIOs are facing growing demands—and opportunities—as the clinical side becomes more aware of and more attuned to the benefits of EMR and other technologies. In particular, Mark noted that more and more organizations are seeing doctors and nurses join the informatics team and bring their skills to technology conversations and decisions. And to again turn to Mark's vision and expertise. On Aug. 26 Mark looked at how quality mandates under ARRA-HITECH are driving pioneer organizations to look at how to improve patient care and safety through the use of IT tools.

Again, this is all looking over the next hill toward 2015 and beyond. In this discussion, sponsored by SAP, Mark noted that certain organizations have moved beyond the meaningful use boundary and are speeding to adopt technology at the bedside that gives clinicians what they need when they need it. Again, it's over the hill thinking. Meanwhile, one of our next programs on Oct. 21 sponsored by Infosys, takes a look at how moving beyond meaningful use will require healthcare organizations to become high performance enterprises. Chuck Podesta of Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Vermont will talk about how that academic medical center and it's related physician practices have made the move to EMRs and beyond. Chuck tells me that Fletcher Allen lost no physicians when it went to requiring EMR technology. Further, Fletcher Allen has already jumped beyond that meaningful use goal and is focusing on becoming a leading provider of healthcare that can thrive in the demands of whatever healthcare reforms come next. You can register online for that program. What is your over the hill thinking looking like these days?

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