Rather than imposing health IT fiats from on high, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is instead beseeching early adopters to encourage slower-adopting colleagues, according to a report in Government Health IT.
The ONC plan calls for “physician champions,” those providers who are already making steady progress incorporating essential IT practices, such as electronic health records, into their standard operating procedures — known collectively as meaningful use — to essentially “tutor” struggling fellow healthcare providers.
The official name for the program is the Meaningful Use Vanguard, and it hinges on the regional extension centers the office set up to provide local assistance in implementing EHRs. Providers who have demonstrated meaningful use can then qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
Meanwhile, it looks as if many healthcare providers will need these “physician champions’” help more than ever.
A recent survey found that many of the goals of the multipart meaningful use initiatives are too stringent, according to a Nextgov report.
A Certification Commission for Health Information Technology survey of vendors and healthcare providers found that at least one-third of the respondents indicated that nine of the goals were too “aggressive.”
ONC is currently accepting public comment on the second stage of meaningful use guidelines.