This is in regards to your news post back in December regarding the release of the new meaningful-use criteria (“ ‘Meaningful use’ criteria released,” Modern Healthcare.com, Dec. 30, 2009). My question addresses the emergency department specifically, especially as more emergency departments are heading toward a comprehensive information system.
It is my understanding that the meaningful-use criteria exclude the emergency department, skilled nursing and psychiatry. Is this the case? If so, can you shine light as to why it excludes the emergency department when we are increasingly holding inpatients in our department?
My concern is that all the focus and attention (from information technology, administration and finance) is going to be geared toward getting the inpatient areas’ meaningful use ready and the emergency departments are not going to be invited to the party.
The rest of the hospital will be disproportionate hospital share compliant and the emergency department is left with an antiquated paper system, and still has to provide healthcare to 80% of all patients being admitted.
Angelene M. Canas Clinical nurse informatics coordinator, emergency department San Francisco General Hospital
& Trauma Center