By Judy Hanover, Research Director, Provider IT Strategies, IDC Health Insights
Meaningful use has been top of mind for providers over the past 26 months, since the passage of ARRA and its HITECH Act. The initial response to ARRA was confusion and uncertainty, but as the months went by and preliminary and final requirements emerged for Stage 1, things became clearer. There is still plenty of confusion and uncertainty, but some providers have clearly been successful. This past January eligible providers in the ambulatory community were able to begin attesting to meaningful use. A few days later, we started to see press releases from successful practices and their EHR vendors, and a couple of months later, we started to ask, which vendors have successfully gotten their customers to meaningful use?
Attesting meaningful use means registering and entering data into an online attestation tool to demonstrate compliance with the meaningful use requirements, making the practice eligible for incentive payments. Successfully attesting to meaningful use means registering and having all the data and usage levels required. The attestation process and tool itself are not simple, but represent a relatively small hurdle for those practices who have already accomplished meaningful use. The providers who are attesting early are clearly also early adopters of EHRs, typically practices with established IT infrastructure, longtime EHR users and e-prescribers among their providers, and tech-savvy office staff to smooth the transition. The vendors who serve these market-leading providers are among the many we saw announce meaningful use guarantees shortly after ARRA passed and followed through, working with their customers to get not only the applications but also the processes in place that are needed for meaningful use. The list of 11 vendors whose customers had successfully attested to meaningful use and publicly announced their success (as of 5/6/2011) included:
* eClinical Works
* GE Healthcare
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