As we gear up for the start of Meaningful Use Stage 2 in a few weeks, HIMSS has been working with our members and listening to the public dialogue on the challenges and opportunities that Meaningful Use Stage 2 adds to the infrastructure development for health data exchange and consumer engagement in their care. Health IT can truly be the foundation of healthcare transformation!
Yesterday, in a Call to Action and Position on the Meaningful Use Stage 2 timeline, HIMSS supported maintaining the current Stage 2 launch schedule. It is important for those who are ready to keep moving forward to support care coordination, quality improvements, and cost containment.
However, we are also aware that eligible professionals, eligible hospital, and vendors are increasingly citing timeline and certification challenges in the lead up to being fully prepared for MUS2. In comparing the August 15th list of 161 certified products on the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) with our HIMSS Analytics database, we found that as many as 68 percent of eligible hospitals and 41 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements. There are concerns that many may still be waiting for the necessary upgrade to the certified version.
With that data in hand, and with an interest in keeping our focus on the overall success of the Meaningful Use program, HIMSS recommends that Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period extend through April 2015 and June 2015 for EHs and EPs, respectively. This will provide 18 months for EHs and EPs to attest to one quarter of MUS2 requirements.
The success of the program is really on all of us. HIMSS pledges to use our resources to help equip EPs, EHs, and vendors to identify commonly agreed upon milestones on the road to implementing, testing, and attesting to MUS2. We are focusing National Health IT Week on the Value of Health IT. The Call to Action is an opportunity to start that dialogue, now.
So what do you think? Is your practice or facility expecting challenges to meet the current Stage 2 timeline? Would extending the deadline help? I’d love to read your story in the comments.
 Ambulatory facilities affiliated with a hospital and/or health system