Hospitals Must Look Beyond Meaningful Use Requirements to Patient Engagement and Care Coordination Imperatives, New Stoltenberg Consulting Issue Brief Asserts Leading health IT consulting firm offers guidance for navigating Stage 2 Meaningful Use
PITTSBURGH, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Stoltenberg Consulting, Inc., a leading healthcare information technology consulting firm, today announced the availability of a new issue brief urging hospitals to prepare for Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) requirements by embracing the substantial differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2. "Preparing for Meaningful Healthcare Change: Meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use Requirements" offers guidance, insight and strategies to help hospitals qualify for payment incentives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) while achieving the required results dictated by trends and regulations in accountable, value-based care and population health management.
As of May 2012, 2,400 hospitals and 110,000 eligible professionals had received $5.7 billion in incentive payments for ensuring meaningful use of health IT, particularly certified EHRs, according to CMS. Healthcare organizations (HCOs) must zero in on and become educated about the differences and similarities of Stages 1 and 2 MU, particularly as Stage 2 requirements have yet to be finalized. Stoltenberg suggests that hospitals and healthcare organizations plan ahead and move as rapidly and efficiently as possible to implement new requirements.
"Meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements can seem overwhelming for some healthcare organizations," said Sheri Stoltenberg, CEO, Stoltenberg Consulting. "However, they cannot afford to bide their time, as Meaningful Use should be regarded not as an endpoint but as a long-term commitment to transforming the way care is delivered."
As HCOs turn their attention to patient engagement and care quality and coordination, Stoltenberg advises hospitals to consider short- and long-term actions, including:
- Developing a patient portal to ensure that patients can access their health information and discharge instructions electronically. Or, offering an EHR that provides patients with direct access to their information.
- Building programs and technologies that allow physicians to communicate with healthcare colleagues across the continuum of care as well as with patients and family members.
- Creating mechanisms to exchange patient information at key transitions in care to identify and prevent gaps in care.
"As advisors and partners to our customers, we feel it is our responsibility to educate and prepare them for the challenges and potential pitfalls they may face as they look towards fulfilling all three stages of Meaningful Use requirements," Stoltenberg continued. "This issue brief was developed to help allay some of those fears and identify some of the best strategies for getting our customers to the next level in healthcare transformation."
About Stoltenberg Consulting
Founded in 1995, Pittsburgh-based Stoltenberg Consulting Inc. creates an environment for success by working with health care organizations to provide a variety of services including project management, implementation support and integration between systems. Members of the Stoltenberg Consulting team are consultants with extensive experience in both financial and clinical systems, averaging more than 15 years of direct on-site hospital experience. Stoltenberg Consulting has grown rapidly to serve a client base of more than 100 preeminent healthcare organizations throughout the United States providing services for Siemens (Approved Partner), Epic (Preferred Partner), Cerner, McKesson, Meditech, NextGen, Allscripts and Zynx customers. For more information call 1-888-724-1326 or visit www.stoltenberg.com.
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