Survey: Meaningful use standards deadline worries CIOs

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CIOs are concerned about their ability to implement the standards recommended by the Health IT Standards Committee in time to meet currently established deadlines, according to a recent survey conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

Nearly 66 percent of the survey’s respondents said they were at least somewhat worried about their ability to implement standards-based applications and how that would affect meaningful use determinations for their organizations. Only 8.3 percent said they were not worried about achieving deadlines, while 37.3 percent responded that they were very concerned or worried.

With a 13 percent response rate, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based healthcare foundation received 176 responses from CHIME’s members to assess industry readiness of the proposed standards recommended by the Health IT Standards Committee in July of this year.

Respondents confirmed that their ability to implement standards-based applications will depend on a variety of external factors.

According to the survey, a significant number of respondents voiced concerns about vendor readiness (21.6 percent), lack of access to capital (15.3 percent) and the lack of staff or shortcomings in staff capabilities (a combined 18.7 percent), saying these factors will impact their ability to implement applications that support standards within their organization.

Vocabulary standards for various tests and procedures run the entire spectrum of preparedness, according to the survey respondents. SNOMED CT, the standard designated for clinical problems and procedures, is the most widely deployed vocabulary standard, with 51.1 percent of respondents reporting that their systems can support the nomenclature.

LOINC, the standard vocabulary for laboratory tests, is supported by 40.5 percent of respondents’ systems. Only 41 percent of systems support RxNorm.

In terms of content standards, answers suggest that respondents are not as far along in implementing systems that are based on newer standards, according to the report. A full 51.2 percent of respondents said the systems in their organizations support HL7 v2.5.1 for clinical messaging, but fewer than 25 percent can support NCPDP and HL7 standards for pharmacy order content.

Both a full report and executive summary of the survey may be accessed on CHIME’s website.