Thanks to the HIT Policy Committee Implementation Workgroup for hosting an interesting, informative, and lively hearing on consumer engagement today!
It seems there is a fair amount of consensus and support for the current suggested meaningful use criteria for the coming few years. These requirements should serve as a floor – not a ceiling – for progress towards achieving a stronger technology-based health care system. Assuming I am understanding Dr. Tang’s carrot vs. leash analogy, we have a carrot-based framework outlined for encouraging providers to move in the right direction between now and 2015.
However, a possible unintended consequence of having relatively simple and broadly achievable meaningful use requirements is that the articulated criteria may have the effect of stifling innovation among the next generation of health care solutions providers. I suggest we consider creating a second ‘track’ for meaningful use.
Just as a gifted child will likely become bored and disengaged with remedial classroom instruction, current meaningful use criteria will do little to inspire forward thinking health care providers and ‘health 2.0’ innovators. I wonder if it is possible to create an experimental advanced track for the more nimble and tech-savvy crowd of solution providers. This would be equivalent to ‘severing the leash’ for the more advanced folks. Whatever innovation, promising solutions, and lessons learned come out of a ‘meaningful use sandbox’ could be shared regionally and nationally…and inform future policy.
If you have any policy-related comments, please share them on the Creating a Vision for Engaging Patients and Families Through the Meaningful Use of Health IT post.