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Does the Meaningful Use Program Equate with Quality Care?

The recent article Why achieving EHR meaningful use is not enough to improve quality, delineates that the meaningful use program and its billions of dollars spent does not necessarily equate with quality care. The study evaluated 7 quality measures on asthma, coronary heart disease, diabetes, depression, and hypertension. Overall, the quality measures did not show a significant improvements in the control of these chronic conditions.

The general conclusion was that specific reminders to perform specific tasks were marginally successful in certain subgroups, but not in all.

The bottom line is that using complex computer technology does not control provider or system behavior. Meaningful use reflects use of technology, not the quality of delivered care. In fact, many feel that providers must be watchful not to allow the demands of meeting meaningful use criteria to inhibit or impede the ultimate goal: patient care. Hence, artificial study points or surrogate markers do not necessarily correlate with quality.

The constant attempt to control behavior using computer modeling does not deal with the known reality that quality comes from a combination of data, human interaction, and creating a patient specific battle plan for their continuous medical health.

Computers are great data collectors but the goal of quality must be engrained in the practitioner. This may require the use of a social worker-nursing type position to aid the physician in providing “holistic” care.

Xpress Technologies is Drummond Meaningful Use Certified to help the practitioner obtain funds, but was also designed to be user-friendly and not just a data collection tool.

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