AMA to legislators: Meaningful Use stymied by EHR data lock-in
August 3, 2015 | By Pam Baker
The AMA declared support for a bill that aims to revise Meaningful Use | Source: vjohns1580, CC0 Doctors have long complained that electronic health records are long in wishful thinking and short in practical data delivery. Problems run the gamut from clunky interfaces and data entry time-sinks to integration and compatibility issues, and vendor lock-in – all of which run counter to the government's goal of Meaningful Use. Once again, the AMA headed to Washington to try to talk some "free the data" sense into regulators.
After many attempts to fix the broken EHR dream, the AMA is making some headway with legislators.
Last week, the AMA declared strong support for a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers from North Carolina that aims to revise Meaningful Use. Among the key provisions the AMA applauds are requirements in the bill addressing key interoperability challenges by ensuring EHR systems are capable of sending, receiving, and seamlessly incorporating patient data.
"This important bill addresses many of the fundamental shortcomings in government regulations that have made many EHR systems very difficult to use," said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D in a statement to the press.
"We heard loud and clear from physicians at the AMA's first-ever town hall meeting on EHRs and the Meaningful Use program that the systems they use are cumbersome, poorly designed and unable to 'talk' to each other thereby preventing necessary transmission of patient medical information."
Rectifying these issues is not only crucial to patient care but to medical research and public health too.