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  • August 10 2012

    This is part two of our interview with Maureen Belley, director of information services at Lowell General Hospital. In part one, she discussed Lowell's Meaningful Use Stage 1 attestation journey. Here, she shares thoughts about Meaningful Use Stage 2 and how her hospital is preparing.

    What are your reactions to the proposed Stage 2 measures?

    Maureen Belley: Removing clinical quality measures from the objective list and making it its own requirement was a beneficial suggestion from CMS. The requirement for the certified technology to incorporate and calculate each measure, the work effort needed to extract and validate the reports will be more visible. The effort to align the quality measures to other reporting programs is also advantageous.

    Why is it important to continue building on the momentum from Stage 1 on into Stage 2?

    MB: The Meaningful Use program’s ultimate goal is to develop a patient centered technology that helps healthcare organizations provide higher quality, efficient care to the people they serve. Stage 1 representing the first step of this gradual approach to the goal, it makes sense that stage 2 builds upon Stage 1 and comprises more stringent requirements.

    How is your hospital preparing for Stage 2, and even Stage 3?

    MB: We are reviewing the proposed rule but need to wait for Cerner 2014 Edition certification to know what system updates will be needed. Then the necessary process changes will be designed and implemented. Monitoring the reports will be dually done for Stage 1 year two along with preparing for Stage 2.

    Besides the incentive payment, what is one benefit your hospital has realized from being a meaningful user of health IT?

    MB: Through the Meaningful Use reports, we are able to see how effectively staff is using the EMR. The reports also identify our compliance with safety measures such as Medication Reconciliation and the comprehensiveness of the documentation of care. They provide the clinical and quality leadership with valuable data on where to focus education and quality improvement efforts.

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