Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The December HIT Standards Committee Meeting

The December HIT Standards Committee focused on the reality of implementing the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Standards and Certification rule in the real world of hospitals, clinician offices, and healthcare information exchanges.

First, Liz Johnson and Cris Ross provided a detailed review of the 7 waves of certification test scripts.    We discussed several recommendations to clarify and streamline the testing process.   In early 2013, the implementation workgroup will complete clinical scenarios to be used  by certification bodies. In February 2013 the workgroup will host public hearings to solicit feedback.   BIDMC has offered itself as a site to pilot these scripts.   The goal is to produce final and piloted scripts in the Spring of 2013, aligning with the timing of vendor product releases and their readiness for Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification.

Next, Dixie Baker presented an excellent summary of the recent hearings on Trusted Identity of Patients in Cyberspace.  She defined the essential terms - identity management and authentication then emphasized their importance in the patient/family engagement provisions of meaningful use stage 2.

Dixie also presented the Privacy and Security Workgroup Recommendations on the security certification for modular EHRs.   I speak with the press frequently and some reporters have noted that the current meaningful use stage 2 rules may reduce overall security by not requiring formal certification criteria or documentation that would assure the "sum of the modular parts" is appropriately secure.  Dixie's recommendations address this concern by offering 3 security certification options for modular EHRs

Jamie Ferguson and Betsy Humphreys presented the need to use Current Dental Terminology (CDT) for specific quality measures that require structured information about dental procedures.    The committee supported this by consensus as long as the wording of the recommendation only requires CDT for EHRs that calculate specific dental quality measures.

Finally, Doug Fridsma presented an update on the Standards and Interoperability framework and the transition of many federal programs to the private sector as funding for S&I initiatives decreases in early 2013 when ARRA stimulus support ends.

A great, practical meeting.

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