Guest Column | September 19, 2013

Three Mistakes VARs Make When Communicating Stage 2 Meaningful Use Opportunities

By Randy Briley, director of Healthcare, Motorola Solutions

The September 2013 deadline is looming for Meaningful Use Stage 2 compliance, and healthcare network administrators continue to struggle with how to make sure they don’t miss out on the sizable reimbursements they could receive for implementing EHRtechnology. While the governmental incentive program requires certified EHR technology, it’s often unclear what type of bar code medication administration technology qualifies for this incentive. VARs and Integration Specialists have an opportunity to step in and provide best practice thought leadership to healthcare network administrators who are tasked with evaluating which EHR technologies, bar code scanning, and RFID tools will best meet their health system’s needs.

Bar code medication administration is the wave of the future and an effective means of enhancing healthcare. The benefits include:

  • Accurately verifying patient identification, medication, timing and dosage
  • Automating the manual processes that are prone to human error
  • Providing relevant data to drive continuous quality improvement (CQI)
  • Significantly reducing workflows

While the task of selecting the correct bar code medication administration technology can seem daunting, breaking the steps of compliance into manageable explanation points can help VARs eliminate the confusion and help healthcare networks select the correct solution.

Here’s a list of common mistakes, with a solution to clear up the confusion.

Mistake One: Assuming the customer understands the available solutions

Just like any other healthcare challenge, selecting the data capture solution for Meaningful Use compliance is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It is important to identify clearly the pros and cons of RFID vs. bar code as it relates to compliance. For simple point-of-care medication administration, standard bar code scanning should suffice. However, as new GS1 requirements are implemented, imager scanners will be required to handle the more complex bar codes necessary for the additional information. Restricted medications like narcotics may require RFID technology to track location at any time within the facility.

Healthcare network managers will need to take into account other factors such as existing mobility strategy, budget, and implementation time and processes. These factors will likely require agreement from multiple stakeholders including the executive office, clinical leadership, and even end-users like nurses and pharmacists. They will look to their VAR community for guidance. Consider using this comparison chart to help clarify the options, based on value, usage and location of the asset:

RFID RTLS Bar Code Scanning Chart

Real-time Location Services (RTLS)

Mistake Two: Not clearly communicating the steps needed to achieve compliance

It may seem obvious, but providing an easy-to-use packet on the resources to confirm compliance is one of the simplest ways to reinforce the benefits of the new EHR technology. Hospitals frequently use a variety of technology tools including an EHR technology, pharmacy management, materials management and asset tracking software. These software packages run on a variety of hardware platforms from workstations on wheels, to mobile computers and computerized pharmaceutical cabinets. Assisting facility technology management in navigating the maze of existing technology and ensuring compliance with government requirements is one way VARs can show value to their customers.

In addition, it can be helpful to provide a full list of required resources for compliance. Make sure you include these resources from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

Mistake Three: Forgetting the other pieces of the network puzzle

Make sure the new EHR technology fits into the healthcare network’s existing mobility strategy. One of the most stressful things for a network administrator is to add a new system to their existing mobility strategy. They need to consider elements such as wireless network connectivity, bring your own device (BYOD) policy, and how the new EHR solution will fit in with these and other existing business-critical wireless data demands. By working with the organization to identify the proper way to integrate the new solution into their existing strategy, VARs can add the additional value of a working advisor to their sales call sheet.

While the decision to purchase a Stage 2 compliant EHR technology solution may seem like a simple one, the selection of the correct bar code medication administration technology often can be daunting. By breaking down the selection into three easy-to-manage steps, VARs can arm their customers with the knowledge they need to make the right decision for their healthcare environment.

For more information, visit Motorola Solutions Healthcare page.

Randy Briley, director of healthcare, Motorola Solutions, has 25 years of experience in the AutoID Industry, with 17 at Motorola Solutions. During his tenure, he has held management positions in direct sales and channel across North America and developed the Independent Software Vendor program supporting healthcare and other vertically-focused application developers for Motorola Solutions.