Not that I mind working hard for a living, but it's too bad that the best evidence of what's actually in the Stage 2 meaningful-use proposed rule until yesterday was what reporters could furiously type while federal officials delivered their PowerPoint presentations.
Rules delayed are opportunities denied
Several of my Modern Healthcare colleagues and I have been in Las Vegas all this week attending the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's 2012 Conference and Exhibition.
One of them, Christine LaFave Grace, did a masterful job copying down what was put up on a screen for attendees during an educational session on Stage 2 Thursday.
Unfortunately, the slides from this session, as well as those from one Wednesday morning in which Dr. Farzad Mostashari, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, revealing the first details of the Stage 2 proposed rule, were not posted to the HIMSS convention website along with all the slides and handouts from the hundreds of other educational sessions.
An ONC official with Mostashari said federal procedural rules barred ONC from releasing copies of the slides as well as the full rule prior to publication in the Federal Register. That publication and public release remained tied up until Thursday afternoon, reportedly because of formatting issues with the Register.
So, Mostashari could talk about the meaningful use rules and show slides about them, but he could not provide anyone copies—even of his slides.
That was just absurd.
A record 36,000 attendees made it to the HIMSS show this year. ONC officials lost a great opportunity to personally receive rich and expert feedback from them on the meaningful use rule, as well as on a companion rule on certification of EHR systems, simply because draft copies of the rules—and even the slides—weren't released until the third day of the convention.
That was just a shame.
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