Achieving meaningful use for electronic health record deployments has become akin to the Holy Grail for many healthcare providers. While meaningful use certification has not been nearly as elusive as the Holy Grail, it has taken a strong hold on the industry similar to the mythological influence of the Holy Grail on The Knights of the Round Table. For those knights, the Holy Grail was a way to solve many of their problems and find a better way of life. Similarly, meaningful use provides hospitals with a way to reform their care efforts, improve the patient experience and get the job done as effectively as possible. However, reaching meaningful use standards can be so difficult that the process often resembles an epic quest that takes years to complete.
Meaningful use has been an area of emphasis in the healthcare industry for a while, but hospital leaders are poised to increase their focus on achieving the standards this year. A recent survey from Stoltenberg Consulting found that approximately 35 percent of those polled consider reaching meaningful use goals their main priority for the year.
As more hospitals strive for meaningful use, effective IT solutions are vital to supporting innovation goals. Turning this innovation into meaningful gains is often easier when hospitals implement business process management (BPM) solutions.
Looking at meaningful use plans
Shane Pilcher , vice president of Stoltenberg Consulting, explained that while meaningful use is a priority, there is still a lot of progress needed to meet requirements.
"Those hospitals that can successfully achieve meaningful use implementation will benefit greatly from the resulting updated systems, enhanced processes and increased data security," said Pilcher. "Organizations still need to overcome the hurdles inherent in meeting meaningful use however, before they can reap the benefits of it."
Dealing with meaningful use challenges
Using BPM software for healthcare purposes can revolutionize how clinical staff members use information to complete patient care processes. While data integration is becoming a priority across the healthcare sector, data alone is not enough to lead to better practices. Instead, the actual processes that clinical and non-clinical staff members complete need to be integrated as well. For example, a doctor trying to manage when he or she will see different patients can get the job done more efficiently by tracking which secondary processes have been completed and strategically see patients when nurses and other workers have finished completing the processes they can do without input from the physician.
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