I believe that the concerns that these CIOs feel should be responded to allegorically:
A boy falls down and scrapes his knee. He is bleeding, but not badly. His mother cleans the wound, and dresses it with careful consideration and love. That Sesame Street Band-Aid is covering the foundations of a scab that is going to be with the child throughout the healing process. The child does his best to keep the area clean and dry to have the best chance to heal properly. He’s a young boy, so sometimes he get’s it dirty and his mother needs to put a new Band-Aid on the wound. About half way through the healing process, the boy’s father comes along and decides that the wound is not healing the way he believes it should, so he decides to rip the Band-Aid off and he takes takes the scab with it in his haste. The healing process continues, but not the way it would have had the boy’s father just left it alone, and now it will probably leave a bigger scar than originally estimated. Now, we all know that scabs help the skin heal scrapes and cuts, and sometimes it is really tempting to rip that scab off, but any good doctor will tell you that it is not a good move.
If these CIOs get their way, and CMS rips this scab off with the Band-Aid, we will be forced to wait for that new scab to start and who knows what kind of infections may get into that open wound. Let the scab heal this wound as it should, and let’s stop talking about delays and changes and start focusing on how we can make the required preparations to meet the deadlines that are before us. Extensions and delays are for the unprepared and frightened. Let’s use a bit of that good-ol-fashioned American ingenuity to get the job done, and stop treating Meaningful Use like the Minotaur of Crete which must be appeased by Athenian sacrifices. Meaningful Use was created to get providers to use an EHR application properly, and to penalize providers for clinging to out-dated methods of recording patient charts. Meaningful Use is not some mythological monster that must be battled and no heroes are going to come in and save us all from it. Meaningful Use is reality: embrace it. America used to be the best and first in just about everything, especially health care, and to this day, there are still practices in America that wastes unfathomable amounts of space and money on paper, and they always will until their senior partners decide to go the way of the evening newspaper.
Adam Rantz – Sales and Project Coordinator at DataTrade Solutions and Health IT, Meaningful Use and EHR Blogger