Regarding the article "Taking the EHR penalty: Many doc offices may opt out”, there is an underlying reason physicians are choosing to opt out of the electronic health-record “meaningful use” program and EHRs in general. The systems are not creating value that is meaningful. The reason is the clinical provider note function offers no meaningful information except at the end of the note. And that clinical assessment and plan may be limited in scope.
To support this notion of meaningless clinical information, HHS' Office of the Inspector General has issued a report noting doctors are using the cut-and-paste function too often and are creating cloned notes. Are we not surprised by this recent report? After all it was the American Medical Association and then the CMS that created the template for the meaningless note. Now all EHR systems are supposed to be designed to help the provider document the information efficiently, but instead it takes too much time to enter the data. So physicians are reverting to dictating the note. Hence the cut-and-paste feature that helps create efficiency now has become the physicians' worst nightmare.
Is it possible that the idea of creating meaningful reporting of specific clinical information in Stage 1 of meaningful use is because the information is not available in the provider note? So why are the architects of EHRs so focused on meaningless information as presented in the different stages of EHR incentives when in fact the community should be focused on redesigning the provider note so it contains meaningful information that offers the value the healthcare industry is looking for?
Summit Cancer CareSavannah, Ga.