Emer­gency ques­tion

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

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

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