Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The "Meaningful Use" Timeline

The more I talk to physicians and practice managers, the more I realize how unclear the importance of the stimulus package and HITECH Act are to most. The two most difficult concepts for people to grasp are:

1) if you already have an EHR, you ARE eligible for these incentives. In fact, you're in a better position than anyone else. Acheiving "meaningful use" should be relatively easy considering what you've gone through for implementation.

2) if you haven't yet purchased an EHR, you have quite a bit of work ahead of you just to be where you need to be on January 1st, 2011. The graphic below is what I'm calling my "Meaningful Use" timeline. It gives what I believe are some very real estimates of time to acheive "Meaningful Use" by 2011. There's no doubt that many practices could move faster than this, but in my experience, this is something you absolutely don't want to rush if you don't have to. Unfortunately for most, it won't be long before people are rushing to make EHR a reality in their practice.


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