Q&A: Patricia Parks, Director, Product Management RosettaHealth, Discusses Rebranded CMS Meaningful Use (MU) Program
In the following Q&A interview, Patricia Parks, Director, Product Management RosettaHealth, discusses CMS’ latest efforts to rebrand the Meaningful Use program, and the state of health data interoperability today.
Q; Hospitals seem to be embracing how CMS’ changes to the Meaningful Use program will reduce regulatory burdens. However the new shift would require hospitals to make access to their EHR data available for patients on the day of discharge. Do you think hospitals will embrace this?
Parks: Absolutely. If a hospital is currently using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology and has a patient portal, they already have this capability. Most are actually already doing this due to the 36 hour requirement set in Stage 2 for Patient's Electronic Access.
Many hospitals also have the capability to provide additional information related to the encounter – that may not have been available at the time of discharge – such as an outstanding lab order that does not impact the patient's ability to be discharged.
In addition, EHR vendors have already incorporated the means for creating a consolidated clinical document that meets the CMS data content requirements as an on-demand document within the EHR and patient portals. With this functionality, it is possible to generate the document automatically when the account is discharged. It also automatically sends this information to a patient portal for immediate access by the patient or authorized representative.
Hospitals are already informing their patients of how they may access their health information, including the use of patient portals. Often times, this occurs during the registration process and is reviewed again at time of discharge. EHRs that are 2015 Certified have additional functionality that enables more options for providing this information electronically to patients or their authorized representative.
Q: Overall, do you think that this change truly does promote interoperability, which has been a historical challenge?
Parks: Yes, by requiring eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals to use a 2015 edition of Certified EHR technology as of 2019, advanced interoperability functionality such as API will be available for use. Having common capabilities across all EHR vendors used by the majority of providers serving Medicare patients will definitely improve the likelihood organizations will implement the functionality and use it as part of their standard workflow.
The addition of API functionality not only eases the burden of establishing connectivity, but also it drastically broadens an organization's options for sharing relevant health information even with their patients such as with a third party application.
Patient Portals that are 2015 edition certified also provide patients with more delivery options for sharing their health information with providers, case or care managers, ancillary services and family members. These changes are a step in the right direction for improving interoperability within the healthcare community and empowering patients to be more involved and proactive with their health care needs.
Q: What more can hospitals do to help enhance health data sharing?
Parks: Hospitals, like many healthcare organizations, are still approaching interoperability like it's a cottage industry. Meaning, there are too many systems with partial capabilities involved in order to solve this problem for an organization. Not to mention the expertise that a hospital has to maintain on staff who understand and are capable of resolving integration issues such as with VPN connections, HL7 message formats, knowing the various HIE Protocols, Standards and so on.
The opportunity cost required to support and maintain this interoperability capability just does not make sense when there are solutions like RosettaHealth available.
For example, RosettaHealth's HealthBus platform encapsulates all of this interoperability complexity in a single platform that is vendor agnostic and supports all healthcare standards, protocols, and trust mechanism. The platform will handle all of a hospitals transport and transformation of healthcare information at a fraction of the cost of their existing systems and frees up these highly specialized hospital resources to focus on other critical needs of the hospital.
We would like to thank Patricia for taking the time to speak with us. For more information about the RosettaHealth HealthBus platform, please click here.
To learn more about how RosettaHealth can assist with any health information challenges you might have, book a free consultation with one of our interoperability experts.