Waiting until 2012 on attestation for Meaningful Use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy an EHR in 2011

In my previous posting I wrote “You will be better off waiting until FY 2012 on Meaningful Use.” I received a bunch of questions via e-mail about that so I thought I would clarify my recommendations.

I agree, based on Protima Advani’s evidence cited at iHealthBeat, that waiting until 2012 for attestation (registration, etc.) for Meaningful Use makes more sense for almost everyone since there’s no reduction in the incentives, there’s more time to implement your processes and procedures, and lower risk of how fast you must move to stage 2.

However, I still think it’s a good idea to start the process of making your EHR purchases and begin deployments this year. Just because you buy a system this year (which you should probably do) you do not need to register or attest for MU incentives this year. Wait for attestation until 2012 but do get started on your EHR journey this year. If you’ve been using your EHR for months you are more likely to be “meaningful users” by the time you attest anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Waiting until 2012 on attestation for Meaningful Use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy an EHR in 2011

  1. Makes sense. By implementing now, providers can adjust to the workflow changes and fix system bugs associated with a new EHR system. Rushing to meet MU criteria now or frantically trying to implement a system in 2012 could lead to critical errors and/or failure to meet MU requirements.

  2. I totally agree that right now a practice should be examining or have examined the reasons why to implement an EHR system. Meeting MU criteria is just one of many reasons to do it and to start now. Your staff will appreciate the time to plan it, work with it, adjust to it. The physician needs to adjust themselves so that the focus is on not the computer but by using such a tool they are providing better care, better education and superior communication with their patients. Patients want their physicians be step up to the plate and part of the world around them that is more computerized in every aspect of life. Empower your practice with the proper tools for everyones sake. The technology is there for the taking, it is the human factor that needs time to adjust. Nothing happens overnight. Do it right. Start now.

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