Health IT Pulse

Mar 30 2015   8:55AM GMT

Pages and pages of stage 3 rules — and moving on from stage 2; population health’s ties to machine learning; UIs hamstring VNAs

Scott Wallask Scott Wallask Profile: Scott Wallask

EHR certification
meaningful use stage 2
meaningful use stage 3
population health management
Storage and PACS
Wearable devices

Spring break sure sounds good to me after CMS dropped 700-plus pages of proposed regulatory rules for stage 3 meaningful use and EHR certification for the healthcare IT industry to study up on. Opinions quickly flew around the Web about the most important parts of the proposals.

Reporter Shaun Sutner grabbed thoughts from two influential players in healthcare IT — athenahealth Inc. and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) — and then followed up by looking at a critique of the proposed CMS rules that is bound to get attention because of who wrote it: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka, M.D., and Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative President Micky Tripathi.

CHIME and athenahealth expressed tepid responses to the CMS release, while Halamka and Tripathi jabbed the agency about the proposal’s page count.

As Sutner wrote, Tripathi and Halamka’s review “delves into the critical realm with sections labeled the ‘good,’ the ‘bad,’ and even the ‘ugly.'”

In better-looking news, the new issue of our premium e-zine Pulse came out this week on the related topic of transitioning from stage 2 to stage 3 meaningful use. The theme of the issue is whether providers are ready for the change, and I expect more answers to that question at the upcoming HIMSS 2015 conference in a couple of weeks.

Pulse March 2015

Population health management will also be a trigger topic at HIMSS 2015. As contributor Reda Chouffani noted in his piece about curbing rising healthcare costs, machine learning can improve population health efforts. Machine learning focuses on creating computer programs that teach themselves to grow when exposed to new data.

The CMS stage 3 proposal also touches on population health by inviting opinions about how to best use patient-generated data from wearable wellness devices and tracking systems.

Meanwhile, I weighed in on the buzz about vendor neutral archives, which don’t seem quite ready to take over from picture archiving and communications systems — the VNA versus PACS debate. Technology pros and cons aside, VNAs users get hampered by user interfaces that aren’t easy to, well, use.

Please follow @SearchHealthIT and @HITexchange for the latest news updates on Twitter throughout the week.

Scott Wallask is news director at SearchHealthIT. Follow him on Twitter @Scott_HighTech.

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