As organizations are sharing more and more health information electronically, the need for improved patient identification and matching across organizations has become clear. In September, we announced a dedicated initiative to assess what’s working well and where there are gaps, and to explore possible ways patient matching could be improved. Those initial findings from our current efforts will be discussed at a meeting here in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 2013.
New Data Shows Rapid Adoption of EHRs; Announcements of 2015 Policies
Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – which included the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – was signed into law, the nation has seen unprecedented growth in the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Between 2009 and 2012, EHR adoption nearly doubled among physicians and more than tripled among hospitals. Every month, thousands of providers join the ranks of hospitals and professionals that have adopted or are meaningfully using EHRs. As of October 2013, 85 percent of eligible hospitals and more than six in 10 eligible professionals had received a Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive payment. Moreover, nine in 10 eligible hospitals and eight in 10 eligible professionals had taken the initial step of registering for the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs as of October 2013.
When front line clinicians confront a clinical mishap or unsafe condition in EHR-enabled healthcare settings (such as a medication error or a missed diagnosis) they may not connect the clinical event with how EHR use could have helped prevent it, how misuse or failure to use EHR functionality as intended contributed to the problem, or how weaknesses in EHR configuration, interfaces, or usability contributed.