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CSC: Most Hospitals Aren't Ready for Incentives

January 6, 2010
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Findings from a survey conducted by Falls Church, Va.-based CSC indicate that U.S. hospitals are only halfway to qualifying for incentive payments under the ARRA-HITECH legislation.

According to the report — entitled “Are Hospitals Ready for Meaningful Use of EHRs” — just two-thirds of hospitals have identified the gaps in their current systems to meet the requirements for meaningful use. One quarter of hospitals meet at least 70 percent of the readiness criteria from the survey, says CSC. The survey also revealed that hospitals have the highest readiness scores for privacy and security protection, while the use of required EHR capabilities is furthest behind.

Some organizations have the tools needed to achieve meaningful use in place, but they are not being utilized correctly. According to CSC, 70 percent of hospitals have systems capable of supporting CPOE, but only eight percent have it deployed throughout the hospital with at least 75 percent of orders being entered by physicians.

Additional findings include the following:

  • Smaller hospitals have lower readiness scores especially for use of required applications and quality reporting;
  • 54 percent are using the latest software version of their EHR product, which indicates upgrading might be required to meet the criteria for meaningful use;
  • Although 89 percent report on core quality measures, only half capture the majority of the required data from their EHR system;
  • The majority (98 percent) have a policy in place to limit the disclosure of protected health information, but only 52 percent employ encryption technologies to render data unreadable or unusable in the case of unauthorized access;
  • Only 40 percent report that there is clear and broad awareness of the new civil and criminal penalties under the ARRA.

According to CSC, the findings came from a survey of executives from 58 hospitals and integrated health delivery networks of all sizes across the U.S. For complete results, visit www.csc.com/MUSurvey.

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