Does This Count as Meaningful Use?

I visited my doctor for an annual exam in late May of this year.  Since that date, I have received six pieces of snail mail correspondence and multiple ems from that practice. Yes, I am enrolled in that practice's electronic medical records system.

So, we certainly have use — but is any of it meaningful?  Almost all of the correspondence is duplicative and at cross purposes. On the same day, the system produced two different and contradictory reminders of my need for an appointment in several months based on conflicting reports on my last visit, etc. 

It is not that I am surprised that quality control measures like patient appointment reminders ("You are due for a visit by X date") can get messed up, but I was surprised by the admission of everyone involved (because I asked!) at front desk, at lower level provider, and at clinical encounter that they had no knowledge of how to update or correct the system.

And so the flood of correspondence continues unabated: either I had my last well woman visit in August of 2014 or August of 2013, right? And I am either timely for an appointment in August of 2015 or not, right? 

Could someone please stop sending me  highly contradictory advice on when next to visit the practice and completely contradictory statements of what tests or procedures I need on my next visit? I mean, if my doctor and I agree that— all things considered— I accept the risk of moving away from an annual mammogram, shouldn't that be noted in my file? Then, why all the notifications crying out in fear that I am now "late" for my annual mammogram.

At some point, the electronic medical record has to be my electronic medical record, documenting my negotiated decisions with my practitioners and not just a barrage of notices from somebody's best practices checklists. What's that you say? None of the meaningful use protocols stress EMR accuracy?

So, if the electronic medical record I have is almost completely detached from memorializing my clinical encounters, is it still meaningful use for which my provider ought to be rewarded by my insurer?  Or, is it more like meaningful abuse?

One comment

  1. The EMR rollout has been an operational nightmare and a regulatory fiasco. And expensive. Check with the MGMA and other groups if you doubt this.
    Some minor good news, I am getting multiple reports that lost physician productivity is slowly coming back, although one would not guess that from speaking with physicians.
    The meaningful use regulations may be the single most convoluted sets of administrative regulations ever written (and I have been reading admin regs for about 40 years).

    Like

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