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Meaningful Use and Albrecht Durer May 13, 2011

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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Every time I hear the phrase “Meaningful Use” I am transported back to my early college years as an art major, immersed in the amazing world of 15th century creativity. In my wanderings through that ancient time I discovered Albrecht Dürer, famed artist, mathematician and philosopher. His view on art, beauty and USEFULNESS, intrigued me then, and influence me now.

According to Dürer, and paraphrased here, usefulness is an element of Beauty, and, therefore, what is of “no use to man” is not beautiful.

Wow. Is it possible that Meaningful Use, a phrase coined by the Federal Government, best known for obfuscating truth with effluent verbiage, may be, according to Dürer’s estimation, true Beauty?

From my perspective, caring for humans is definitely an art form, beautiful to observe, whether the care is from teachers, beauticians, parents, or health care providers.

Care, as an action, takes not only skill, but also a bit of magic, some mind reading, acute observation skills attuned to what is obvious and what is not, and just the right dose of assistance and coaching to get to the goal.

Meaningful Use, will require the same.

Yes, we need to employ our skills learned in years of medical and nursing school to care for our patients. But we also need to understand and observe the data we collect within the context of our community and its health goals.

This will move us toward true Beauty that is eminently Useful and the ultimate goal of Meaningful Use: improved health for everyone.

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Onward and Upward – The Adventure Continues May 6, 2011

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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Now that the adventure of EHR implementation is in the past, we are moving into the next Adventure in EHR Land: proving that Syringa Hospital and Clinics meets the standards of Meaningful Use.

What is Meaningful Use? According to the U.S. Government, Meaningful Use (MU) requires that medical providers show that they are “using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.”

The current MU definition includes an extensive list of objectives which hospitals and physicians’ offices across the nation are required to meet. Each subsequent year, the criteria increase or additional are added so that, once on the MU track, an organization continues to make significant strides in improving patient care.

Syringa, now live with a fully integrated and certified EHR, intends to meet Stage 1 MU by October 1, 2011. To do this requires significant care and feeding of the EHR, the employees who are responsible for using the system, and the team spearheading the effort.

To make Stage 1 MU by the deadline, we will need to meet 14 Core objectives and 10 additional “menu” objectives. Not to bore you with these but they include collecting demographic data, placing medication orders electronically, plotting BMI, checking allergy and medication interactions and a whole lot more.

Luckily, Cerner, our EHR partner, is on the leading edge of this work. We have a MU team from Cerner that meets with us weekly, advising us in the development of policies and procedures, demonstrating the best ways to use the EHR to provide required measurement data, and keeping watch on this fluid area of Federal legislation.

Once we make MU, we will be eligible for significant incentive funds from Medicare to pay for the implementing the EHR.

All this just to document that Syringa Hospital and Clinics is an excellent healthcare provider in Idaho County, which WE already knew.

The really good news in all of this? Everyone wins, and personal health and wellness is improved for everyone who comes through our doors.