In my initial post on the final rules for meaningful use, I mentioned a number of other resources to describe the rules. Since last month, a number of other new readable sources of information have appeared.
Dr. Blumenthal's overview of HITECH in the New England Journal of Medicine has been officially published.
Readers of this blog know of my enthusiasm for the Geek Doctor, HITECH Answers, and Mr. HIStalk sites, but another source of information on meaningful use I value highly is Computer Sciences Corp.. They have not only issued "updates" on a variety of topics, including meaningful use, certification, and others, but also have established a Meaningful Use Community.
The Health Affairs blog has a post by the Obama Administration's two major leaders for health IT, Drs. Blumenthal and Berwick.
Another interesting post in that blog comes from Kevin Weiss and Sheldon Horowitz of the American Board of Medical Specialties. They note that the five healthcare goals for meaningful use overlap significantly with the six core competencies for physician maintenance of certification developed several years ago. They advocate that the meaningful use goals be aligned with maintenance of certification for physicians. I would agree that being able to use information and IT systems is an essential skill for the 21st-century physician (or any healthcare professional for that matter, and even for patients, researchers, policy makers, and others).
Naturally, during a monumental time like this, there are some express concerns. As typically happens, some argue the adoption of EHRs is moving too fast (American Hospital Association, Huffington Post Investigative Fund, and the Washington Times [the full breadth of the political spectrum!]) while others advocate it is moving too slow (The Leapfrog Group).
I maintain that no one really knows the right pace to move forward. We need to maintain flexibility, adjusting our plans when necessary. But inaction is not an option either. I do agree this has elements of a grand experiment whose outcome we will know only many years, lives, and dollars from now. But just as a I feel about healthcare reform, the status quo is not tenable, and action is required. Translating ideals among competing financial and other interests is always a messy task, but it is not reason for inaction.