At the heart of the development of the second stage of meaningful use of electronic health records lies a balancing act between demanding high quality from providers and setting goals that are attainable, officials told Government Health IT.
The first stage of meaningful use, under which providers can currently qualify for the government's incentive programs for using electronic health records, requirements focused on encouraging providers to quickly adopt systems. However, more thought is being given in the second stage as to how government officials want providers to use those systems.
David Lansky, the co-chair of the quality measures work group that is developing the second stage of meaningful use rules for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, said that one of the biggest challenges his group faces is how to ensure high enough standards for while encouraging interoperability.
"The methodological challenges are important from the point of view of care coordination, integration and patient management," he told the news source.
Experts have predicted that the second stage of meaningful use will go into effect sometime in 2012, according to various media reports.