Day 80: My take on “meaningful use”

Meaningful (mē’nĭng-fəl)adj.

  1. Having meaning, function, or purpose.
  2. Fraught with meaning; significant:

I grow exceptionally tired of the entire “meaningful use” conversation. I see multiple definitions, serious scholarly work, conferences, and an entire industry built up around or attempting to knock down this obnoxious term. Its wearisome . . .particularly when I think the term is meaningless in terms of attempting to get people paid for using specific types of technology. My contention is that the government bureaucrats will never be able to run fast enough to keep up with technology which will outstrip not only their ability to classify it, let alone dictate the terms of its use.

As an example of that, I am using HelloHealth’s EHR platform. It is not EHR certified, it is unclear if it will meet any quality or feature/function litmus test, or some of the other criteria being dreamed up. When I think of “meaningful use” I don’t have to turn any farther than the patients that we serve. Here is an unsolicited email that demonstrates the true and only relevant definition I will ever use:

Thanks for the quick response. Your team took great care of me!!!

The A1c was 5.8 and trending the right way – I’m not sure what it was before. I was 1 point away from being on the good side of the Pre-diabetic equation at 100. I’m not taking any Avandia and have not been for a while now. Based on what I know and what you guys were telling me…I’m going the right way and am right now —ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!!

This goes to show you that everyone at the practice are doing the right thing by providing this program [HelloHealth]. This program shows that if a person like me wants to get better we can control our own destiny – we are in the drivers seat (to a degree). I would have been carrying the BIG Burden that I had to be on meds with this had I not met you!!! My hats off to everyone there. You all did great – thanks for guiding me along the way. I cannot thank you all enough.

And if it was not for YOU – I’d be another prescribed drug statistic.

All the best.

Technology is an enabler that allows me as a physician to be more effective in “laying on of hands” (which has been and will always be the essence of being a physician healer). My ability to impact patients lives for the better is exactly the type of impact that we can and should have with technology. This should be the only meaning of the term “meaningful use”.

I really want everyone to experience health in this way – for everyone to have the privilege of being apart of the next generation of care. That is what we are attempting to build at Crossover Health.

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