Hospitals and health systems are only somewhat confident in their organization’s level of readiness to meet meaningful use Stage 2 standards for electronic health records (EHR), and most see training and change management efforts as their biggest compliance challenge, according to the results of a poll conducted by KPMG LLP. The results reflect responses from more than 140 hospital and health system administrators.
Almost half (47 percent) of hospital and health system business leaders who participated in a KPMG poll last month said they were only somewhat confident in their level of readiness to meet the requirements, which became final in July. Thirty six percent said they were confident and just four percent said they were not confident at all. Eleven percent said they didn’t know what their level of readiness was.
When asked to identify the biggest challenge in complying with the standard, 29 percent cited training and change management. This was followed by lack of monitoring processes to help ensure sustained demonstration of meaningful use, and capturing the relevant data electronically as part of clinical workflow (19 percent each); lack of a dedicated meaningful use team (12 percent); and vendor availability that has appropriate certified technology (6 percent). Fourteen percent said other.
“Attesting to meaningful use standards is an evolving process, said Mike Beaty, principal and KPMG Healthcare IT enablement leader. “It’s key for organizations to have the right clinical workflows, care delivery processes and the right support structures in place not just to meet the standards but also to ensure a sustainable transformation of these critical systems,” he said.
Leaders also said their organizations are being challenged to meet standards on privacy and security of patient information as prescribed by both meaningful use Stage 2 and HIPAA. Close to half (47 percent) of respondents said they were only somewhat comfortable with their organization’s ability to comply with all parts of HIPAA, including new annual risk assessments and protecting data such as patient identifiable information. An additional 8 percent said they were not comfortable at all and 13 percent said they were not sure. Thirty one percent said they were comfortable.
“Stage 2 specifically requires that the transmission and exchange of patient data or information across the enterprise be very solid and secure,” said Jerry Howell, principal with KPMG Healthcare. “Stage 2 Meaningful Use compliance will require an expanded focus on secure transmission of data within, and outside the enterprise.”
In other findings, leaders said their organizations are tapping new resources to help with the implementation and deployment of EHRs. According to the results, 30 percent of respondents said their organization had hired new or additional staff to complete EHR deployment, while another 22 percent said they had secured third party assistance.