Q&A with Keith Dreyer, DO, on Meaningful Use

March 12, 2013
Sara Michael

Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, FACR, FSIIM, a well-known expert on meaningful use in radiology, offers his take on the findings of this recent survey.

Diagnostic Imaging spoke with Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, FACR, FSIIM, a well-known expert on meaningful use in radiology who assisted with this survey. Dreyer is vice chairman of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the ACR Informatics Committee. Here’s his take on a few of the findings:

The survey found that 72 percent of radiology professionals are participating in meaningful use. Does that high percentage surprise you?

I think that people are going to find that it’s surprisingly high, because I think if you talked to folks two years ago that number was extremely low. As I give presentations in the area, there are a lot of people who ask the questions that are still trying to decide what to do or they have a difficult situation.

What I don’t get a good handle on is the denominator: those people that are doing something already and don’t need to come to a lecture. I’m pleased that number is that high.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"12124","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_6334542365928","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"312","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"float: right; margin: 5px; height: 143px; width: 130px;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]What are the issues you’re hearing from radiology professionals?

Let me dance ahead to the statistic that says 8 out of 10 can work with the managers of their CEHRT to be included on meaningful use threshold dashboards. It must be the two out of ten that come to me. They are challenged with the fact that they either have managers of their CEHRT that won’t allow them to work with their dashboards or they don’t have a manager of a CEHRT and they are trying to figure out how to get a CEHRT put in in some capacity. Those are the two categories I hear from.

What’s your advice for radiologists who are trying to work more closely with the manager of their CEHRT?

They have to be able to first identify who is in charge of the meaningful use effort. Even if maybe the CEHRT was purchased by the CIO, often times the chief medical officer or chief medical information officer is typically in charge of these activities. A chairman or an individual who is IT savvy in the radiology group needs to meet with this individual and take information to show them they are eligible and that they would be compliant just by virtue of using that CEHRT.

Another item in the survey found that of those who have attested to meaningful use, one out of four has been audited. Does that surprise you?

That’s much more than I would have thought. I’d love to go back to those people and [ask them to] share your experiences here. I haven’t talked to any individual that’s been audited.

Any other advice for radiologists?

The one message that gets lost often is that even though the penalties are going to begin in 2015, penalties are based on your participation in the program two years earlier. This year is an important year to start participating.

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