The Calm Before the Storm?

Despite the sunny days and warm breezes, it feels like the calm before a storm.

We’re edging up to the one-year mark until there will be just one year left until the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 implementation deadline. Can you hear the clock ticking? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made it clear there will be no further deadline extensions and highly recommends allowing for nine months of testing with trading partners. However, survey after survey shows that healthcare providers aren’t doing much to prepare.

And, although Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has said we should not expect a notice of proposed rulemaking for Meaningful Use Stage 3 in 2013, we all know it’s coming soon after. Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, national coordinator of health IT, announced the proposed rule for Stage 2 during the 2012 HIMSS annual convention. I would not be surprised if there is another such significant release at the 2014 HIMSS meeting.

While big changes lie in wait, providers continue to chip away at the existing Meaningful Use requirements. Managing an accurate and current problem list, for example, is one requirement which serves as a basis for several others including care coordination and information exchange. In my article on page 24, providers share their process for maintaining their patients’ problem lists and best practices for using them to improve quality of care.

We hear so much about the workflow and culture changes physicians must make to successfully use an EHR, but not so much about the role of nurses with the technology. My article on page 12 shares the experience of one hospital’s successful implementation—a success that can be attributed to the overwhelming emphasis placed on the nurses who would be the primary users of the EHR. Other organizations would be wise to follow suit, according to those in the know.

This month’s cover story looks inside several healthcare innovation centers both new and well-established. You’ve probably noticed that the number of these organizations is rising but what are they doing and what are they for? I spoke to several innovation center leaders to learn more about their processes to get ideas into practice, shift the business model from volume to value and effectively generate disruptive technologies. Learn more in the article beginning on page 6.

Hopefully, you can find time to enjoy a nice summer break. I think as the days get shorter, there are going to be multiple reasons to have longer days in the office. We plan to continue offering you insight and information from other providers to manage your tasks.