Information trumps technology

A friend of mine has worked at the same company for over 25 years. It’s rare nowadays indeed, but my friend is special to the organization. She is not the company’s CEO nor its CIO. She is not a partner and she is not in a highly visible position outside of the company. The company has been around for over 50 years. It is multinational and you’d recognize the name if I told you. The company has been through many changes. Its fortunes have risen and fallen in concert with the tides of the marketplace. This company has had its share of layoffs, but my friend has survived the cuts, for better or for worse. The company she works for has always tried to stay on top of the technology required to manage the incredible amounts of data that it collects, and as part of that effort, it has seen many iterations of application development, implementation and system retirement. Yet, through it all, my friend remains at this organization because her expertise lies not with the technology, but with the organization’s business model and its data. » Continue reading “Information trumps technology”

Leave a Comment

Technology as Gateway to Knowledge

(This entry is also available as pdf download: see end of article for link.)

“Meaningful Use” is upon us. Hospitals around the country are scrambling to assess its implications which, aside from the obvious financial investment that must be made, will affect healthcare providers in other ways for many years to come. Since change is inevitable, this is the perfect time to look beyond the short-term aspirations of meaningful use, and identify what healthcare should look like into the future, maybe even as far as 20 years. The government however, is not likely to create that vision, so the task will be left to those providers who are bold enough to shape new models for healthcare delivery. » Continue reading “Technology as Gateway to Knowledge”

Leave a Comment

Final “Meaningful Use” Rules Seen

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) announced the final rules for meaningful use , incentives, standards and certification today. The requirements to qualify as a meaningful user of EHR technology, and therefore receive incentive payments as defined in the HITECH portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), had been the subject of hot debate over the past year as providers wondered whether they could actually meet the terms set forth in the proposed rules seen earlier this year. The final rules do scale back the number of objectives that must be met somewhat, and provide more flexibility for providers to continue along individualized paths to meaningful use. Hospital systems that share a CMS Certification Number (CCN) will be disappointed to learn that the payments will still be made based on the single number, not as individual hospitals. This could mean millions to some systems, which are no doubt investigating how to separate their operations under multiple CCNs. The hospital-based physician definition was clarified to exclude physicians performing all work in an inpatient hospital setting or emergency room.

ONC is still the process of identifying organizations that will be certified testing and certifying bodies, but it projects that certified software will be available for purchase by this fall. Registration for the incentives begins in January, 2011, and be managed online by CMS. Attestations from providers seeking incentives will be made starting in April, 2011, with payments starting in May, 2011. Medicaid payments will occur on schedules dependent upon individual states and the status of their plan and progress made.

The final rules on meaningful use and the incentive program will be published in the US Federal Register July 28.

-Rod Piechowski

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

Leave a Comment

CCHIT Statement on Final Certification Rules

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) will apply to become a certifying body under the rules recently issued. Karen Bell, the organization’s new Chair, says the group fully expects approval. The full statement is here.

Leave a Comment