As the Nursing Informatics (NI) Master’s degree program draws closer to an end, this author begins to think towards current real-world issues in NI, as well as how they can be addressed with the Walden spirit of positive social change. Frequent perusal of the Fierce Healthcare website allows readers to become and remain familiar with current issues in clinical and nursing informatics. The purposes of this paper are to summarize articles found on the Fierce Healthcare website, and explain how the website - combined with a Walden education - can initiate a better healthcare for tomorrow.
Today’s most controversial healthcare debates all surround the subject of healthcare information technology (HIT), and the topics are vast. From the Healthcare.gov debacle to the upcoming ICD-10 conversion, there is anything but a lack of conversation. Of particular interest is the subject of Meaningful Use (MU), which will begin Stage 2 attestation in fiscal year 2014 (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], 2012).
An article by Shaw (2013, October 10) covers the presentation given by former National Coordinator for HIT, Farzad Mostashari, at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) annual symposium. Mostashari candidly discussed his doubts about a delay in MU Stage 2, contrary to the innumerable existing barriers. While MU criteria are founded on the presumption that HIT leads to improved patient outcomes, it is forcing a total transformation of the traditional healthcare delivery practices of American society. Providers, patients, and organizations, especially those in rural America, are ill prepared for this adjustment. A cultural change is needed to mitigate this challenge, which is further complicated by the MU timelines and pressures of concurrent programs such as the ICD-10 conversion. Although the obstacles are seemingly foreboding, Mostashari encourages leaders to look to sub-regulatory guidance, like exemptions, to avoid reimbursement penalties from CMS.
Hirsch (2013, October 23) addresses MU audits and some common practices that result in failure. The article summarizes some common mistakes made by healthcare organizations that can lead to a potential loss of CMS incentives payments for an entire year. Some of those errors include not assigning the audit responsibilities to one person, not understanding specific MU criteria, inadequate documentation, not accepting full accountability, and not performing...