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Mortality Gains Unlikely Until Next Stage Of Meaningful Use EHR Requirements

September 16th, 2011
by Chris Fleming

The federal government is currently offering bonus payments through Medicare and Medicaid to hospitals, physicians, and other eligible health professionals who meet new standards for “meaningful use” of health information technology. Whether these incentives will improve care, reduce errors, and improve patient safety as intended remains uncertain.

In a Health Affairs Web First study published September 14, RAND Corporation researchers seek to partially fill this knowledge gap by evaluating the relationship between the use of electronic medication order entry and hospital mortality. Their results suggest that the initial meaningful-use threshold for hospitals — which requires using electronic orders for at least 30 percent of eligible patients — is probably too low to have a significant impact on deaths from heart failure and heart attack among hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries. However, the proposed threshold for the next stage of the program — using the orders for at least 60 percent of patients, a rate some stakeholders have said is too high — is more consistently associated with lower mortality. 

Lead author Spencer Jones and his colleagues conclude: “Our study may reassure policy makers and other stakeholders that high levels of use of computerized provider order entry and other health information technology have value and may yield tangible health benefits for patients.”

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2 Trackbacks for “Mortality Gains Unlikely Until Next Stage Of Meaningful Use EHR Requirements”

  1. Mortality Gains Unlikely Until Next Stage Of Meaningful Use EHR Requirements | Health Care Nuzes
    September 19th, 2011 at 2:14 am
  2. EMR News 09/17/2011 - News -
    September 17th, 2011 at 6:04 am

1 Response to “Mortality Gains Unlikely Until Next Stage Of Meaningful Use EHR Requirements”

  1. Jean Antonucci Says:

    Bunch of silliness. MU is killing docs. We are falling all over ourselves to get money becasue primary care is so badly paid.

    Electronic prescriptions are not safer except for handwriting issues and you get THAT from e-faxing – but then no corporate folks- like Surescripts – make any money off e-faxing.

    EMRs do well in checking drug interactions For that we did not need MU requirements. IF anyone had any political will in this country they would NEVER have allowed MU. They would have taken the allocation and put every doc in the coutnry on the same EMR so we could talk to each other — talk about saving lives and saving time and preventing errors.

    I will be happy to get my 18,000 but MU will not save lives … let’s not be silly. I am a solo MD in rural Maine with only a virtual MA for staff, extremely low overhead, and pretty darn good 6-year data on ER use and hospital readmits.

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