When leaders were asked to select their four top IT system priorities during the next 24 months, giving them 21 project choices, achieving ICD-10 readiness headed the list by a wide margin, selected by 72% of respondents. That was no surprise. The proposed final compliance date for the oft-delayed conversion to ICD-10 was supposed to be Oct. 1, 2013.
Dr. Justin Graham was in the minority (26%) of healthcare leaders in the survey who responded that neither ICD-10 readiness nor meeting meaningful-use criteria were hot button issues. Graham is the chief medical information officer for two-hospital NorthBay Healthcare in Fairfield, Calif.
Graham says his organization achieved meaningful use in 2011, at least in part, just as he predicted in the survey, and that's why meaningful use wasn't a high priority.
“We had Stage 1 nailed on the inpatient side,” Graham says. Providing an outpatient EHR for 30 to 40 physicians in four affiliated primary-care practices, however, is proving to be “more of a challenge for us,” he says.
“We have not rolled out e-prescribing,” he says, which is a key meaningful-use requirement in the outpatient setting. “So one of the challenges of having an inpatient EHR is we have a pharmacy catalog that reflects inpatient prescribing patterns, so there's a lot of things that need to be cleaned up,” he says.