Could EHRs be responsible for Meaningful Use dropout rate?

Over the last few months, there have been numerous surveys and analyses done which highlight that the rate for Meaningful Use attestation is dropping sharply. On the other hand, EHR software adoption is continuously on the rise. So there must be something wrong for some practices. What is causing the decline in the Meaningful Use attestation rate when EHR usage is on the rise?

A recent assessment of government data notes that 17 percent of hospitals who earned Meaningful Use incentives in 2011 could not earn the same in 2012. There could be many reasons for the dropout in rate. Difficulties in compliance to Meaningful Use or problems with the system as a whole could be a few. But another question which is of prime importance is whether the EHR systems are partially responsible for the dropout in Meaningful Use attestation rate?

A recent Black Book Rankings survey finds that nearly half of the physicians who are using EHR systems are not satisfied with their choice. Another 17 percent of the doctors plan to switch their current system because of various reasons. So could EHRs be blamed for dropout in Meaningful Use rate? The answer would be a hesitant yes.

Some of the reasons that the physicians are highlighting as reasons for changing their EHR systems are:

  1. EHR systems are not meeting the practice requirements. Either they contain too many features or way too less.
  2. Practices made a wrong choice of selecting their current EHR vendors and did not make the right choice.
  3. Current EHR systems in practices are generic and do not meet their specialty requirements.
  4. EHR vendors are not very supportive and the software itself suffers many breakdowns.
  5. EHR systems are not able to communicate adequately with other stakeholders in the industry.
  6. Current EHR systems are not going to meet ICD-10 or Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.

These are some of the reasons why current EHRs might be to blame for the dropout in Meaningful Use rate. However, once the practices switch to better and more efficient systems, this is likely going to go back up.