Thursday, July 29, 2010

The July HIT Standards Committee

by John Halamka, Life as a Healthcare CIO


The July HIT Standards Committee meeting focused on a review of the final Meaningful Use/Standards regulations and the processes for the next stage of our work.

Today, the Federal Register published the Meaningful Use Final Rule (down to 276 pages from 874) and the Standards and Certification Final Rule (down to 65 pages from 228).

Karen Trudel and Doug Fridsma began the meeting with an in-depth overview of Stage 1 Meaningful Use and Standards/Certification criteria.

Key discussion points included:

*EHRs do not have to be certified before the 90 day Stage 1 Meaningful Use demonstration period, just by the end. You can start the demonstration data collection before certification is completed. The entire CMS program begins January 2011, so it's possible to demonstrate Meaningful Use January 1 to March 31 using an EHR that is certified February 15.

*Although the Meaningful Use Menu set contains 10 choices from which Eligible Professionals(EPs) must choose 5, one of those five must be a public health/population health measure. Since there are only two choices for EPs, Immunization reporting and Syndromic Surveillance reporting, every professional must demonstrate one of these two public health transactions to qualify for meaningful use.

*Emergency Departments are now included in Hospital measure computation. This may create challenges for some organizations that have 100% CPOE use in the hospital but 0% CPOE use in the ED. Many hospitals have niche systems in the ED that may not integrate into hospital CPOE workflows. There is no question that the ED should have CPOE, but in 2011, not all EDs will. If a hospital has 60,000 ED visits without CPOE and 20,000 inpatient admissions with 100% CPOE use, the computation of 20,000 patients with medication orders entered via CPOE/(60,000 ED patients + 20,000 inpatient admissions) = .25 and thus will not qualify for meaningful use.

*EHRs must be capable of producing electronic Office visit summaries, as discussed in my previous blog, but meaningful use supports (and requires upon patient request) use of paper.

*It's unclear if Meaningful Use/Stimulus payments are taxable income to eligible professionals. No one has clarified this yet.

*The current standards required for patient summaries are CCR or CCD/C32. The current problem list vocabularies are ICD9 or SNOMED-CT. Although the CCR can use ICD9, the CCD/C32 implementation guide requires SNOMED-CT. It may be that the implementation guide will be relaxed to allow either ICD9 or SNOMED-CT for the problem list vocabulary in the CCD/C32.

*The Syndromic Surveillance Standards required are HL7 2.3.1 or HL 2.5.1. Although 2.5.1 has a detailed implementation guide (Public Health Information Network HL7 Version 2.5 Message Structure Specification for National Condition Reporting Final Version 1.0 and Errata and Clarifications National Notification Message Structural Specification), there is no current HL7 2.3.1 guide. It's been retired and is no longer used. Hence it may make sense for ONC to remove HL7 2.3.1 as a possible standard for this transaction. Otherwise it will be challenging to certify the transaction and guarantee interoperability.

*Although no transport standards are currently specified, enabling innovation in this area, it is important than in the future, after we learn more from HIE pilots, NHIN Direct, and Beacon Communities, that some specificity is provided to accelerate interoperability.

*A Smoking status vocabulary has been suggested, but is not a certification criterion.

*Although eligible professionals have a choice of quality measures to report (3 core or 3 alternate core plus 3 from a list of 38 measures), EHRs have to be able to produce all of them. This is an interesting point because although the menu set gives EPs and hospitals optionality, EHRs have to support all quality measures and Menu set data exchanges in order to be certified.

*Medication Reconciliation needs only to be done between institutions not within an institution to satisfy the Meaningful Use measure.

Doug also informed the committee that of the 10 Standards and Interoperability Framework RFPs, two have been awarded - the NHIN RFP to Stanley (a large consulting company) and the Standards Harmonization RFP to Deloitte. It will be interesting to see how the Standards Harmonization activity serves as a successor to HITSP.

Next, Jamie Ferguson discussed the need for a framework to support clinical summaries of all kinds. The committee discussed that a modular, CDA-template-based approach would work well. Efforts such as hData and Green CDA are complementary to this idea. Basically, anyone needing to send a summary document for a particular purpose could assemble CDA templates as needed to create a human readable and computable content package. We also agreed to followup on any modular approaches the CCR authors may be working on.

Jamie updated us on the Vocabulary Task Force and its upcoming hearings. Our hope is to document the requirements for a vocabulary/codeset resource containing all intellectual property needed for Meaningful Use in a web-based repository.

Janet Corrigan and Floyd Eisenberg described the process of work group meetings and information gathering to specify the stage 2 and 3 quality metrics.

I had to leave the meeting to moderate the afternoon session of the ONC/Institute of Medicine Building a Learning Healthcare System conference. I'll blog about that on Monday.

Per Jon Perlin, the afternoon of the HIT Standards Committee meeting including a rich discussion of the Privacy and Security Tiger Team Update by Deven McGraw/Paul Egerman, anEnrollment Workgroup Update, and public comment. During the public comment period, the committee was deeply moved by a speech from the mother of a child with a serious illness. She thanked the committee for all their work to date to empower patients and improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.
Regulations are final, stakeholders are thankful, and we're making progress! Thanks to everyone who has contributed the process thus far.

1 comment:

jrlandau said...

It seems that certification for EMRs developed for the ambulatory setting are required to calculate only the 6 core quality measures, and 3 additional ones--not all of them. (§170.302(i)). Or am I not reading this correctly?