After being kicked around for more than a year, meaningful use has been defined and waiting for implementation.  Yet, many hospitals and physician offices have not been able to employ them yet and  won’t be able to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid bonus payments by 2012 or even 2015, when penalties for non-use start.

Although may consumer groups voice their fervor in keeping the deadlines with strict regulations in the current proposal, ( HIMSS also argued against watering down the regulations) vendors comprising HIMSS would like it to be simplified or diluted  (of course with a desire to see their increase in sales).

“Even with the incentive of billions of federal dollars to cover much of the cost of the transition [to EMRs], doctors and hospitals have been slow to take even the first steps toward conversion. Apparently, they feel little or no responsibility for symptoms that get misdiagnosed because of inadequate information about a patient’s past medical care, let alone the tests that get repeated because no one has a record of the previous results,” according to an editorial at the Boston Globe newspaper.

“The ultimate responsibility belongs to the doctors and hospitals who are putting their own habits ahead of the clearly demonstrated needs of their patients–and of the taxpayers who foot the cost of many medical bills.”

As we reach this new season and new beginnings, let us hope and pray for good health and wisdom for the New Year.  Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone!