For anyone following the developments in the US, the evolution of the debate surrounding “meaningful use” has been rather interesting. To receive portions of the ARRA stimulus for buying an EMR, US doctors have to be able to show “meaningful use“. What I find interesting about this process is not in the ultimate minutiae of the definition but in the process and scale.
In the US market to receive funding on a national level (ie selling EMRs to docs in Florida or North Dakota) a vendor must show enough of product functionality to meet meaningful use. I think the national focus is a smart move, especially in combination with the whole process of how meaningful use has been defined. It was not proscriptive at the start of the process, instead it was (and is) defined as time goes on, and input is received from all of the national stakeholders. This avoids state level fragmentation of standards, and gets all the key stakeholders going in roughly the same direction. I think that these two aspects of their program will serve the US well.
How does/did this differ from the process in Canada?
Will this national focus and definition process allow the US to blow by Canada as far as adoption rates for EMRs?
If the US model is “better” what can lessons can be applied in Canada, or is it too late?